Principal at Barclay, Part Three: “We Did Not Want a Poor Man’s Curriculum”

  • Gertrude S. Williams
  • Jo Ann Ooiman Robinson
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Oral History book series (PSOH)


As the media kept “the crisis in education” in the forefront of public consciousness throughout the 1970s, Gertrude and the steering committee were growing increasingly concerned about the decline in the performance of Barclay students, particularly in the areas of reading and writing. Gertrude blamed the school system’s practice of imposing one educational fad after another on teachers and students rather than providing a consistent and cohesive program of instruction. As she later observed with some hyperbole: “We were a system that adopted gimmicks year after year after year to a point that our children did not get any basic skills.”1


Public School School System Private School School Board Baltimore City 
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  1. 1.
    Wilbur C. Rich, Black Mayors and School Politics, the Failure of Reform in Detroit, Gary and Newark (New York: Garland Publishing Company, 1996) 5–8.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The objectives and methods of BUILD, GBC, and BTU are examined in Jennifer Joy-Marie Beaumont, “Factors Contributing to Involuntary Superintendency Turnover in Urban Public School Systems,” Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1993, chapter V and Veronica Donahue DiConti, Interest Groups and Education Reform (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, Inc., 1996) chapter 4.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Gertrude S. Williams and Jo Ann Ooiman Robinson 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gertrude S. Williams
  • Jo Ann Ooiman Robinson

There are no affiliations available

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