The Learning

PBS Premiere: Sept. 20, 2011Check the broadcast schedule »

In Context

Baltimore is a primarily African-American city with higher-than-average poverty rates.

  • 2010 Baltimore demographics: 63.7% African American, 29.6% white.
  • 2005-2009 Average: 16% of all Baltimore families were living below the poverty line, compared to 10% nationwide. In 2010, 57% of African American boys in Baltimore public schools received high school diplomas, a 12% increase over the previous three years. According to a Maryland state "report card," the comprehensive dropout rate for grades nine through twelve in the city of Baltimore declined from 11.69% in 2005 to 4.07% in 2010.
  • The Maryland Department of Education's suspension rates report indicates that from 2009-2010, 6,547 students from Baltimore public schools were suspended, down from 11,892 in the 2004-2005 school year; 95% of the students suspended in the Baltimore city schools in the 2009-2010 year were African American.
  • According to the 2008 DAWN Emergency Department Metro Report, there were 25,000 total substance abuse treatment admissions in Baltimore.
  • Residents of Baltimore seeking substance abuse treatment are more likely to report heroin as their "primary substance of abuse" than other members of the U.S. population seeking substance abuse treatment.
  • A 2010 report issued by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services shows that Baltimore had the highest number of juvenile intakes in the state that year; 95% of all people subject to intake in Baltimore were African American. Most were between the ages of 15 and 17.

Photo caption: A scene from The Learning
Credit: Courtesy of The Learning

» U.S. Census Bureau. "State and County QuickFacts: Baltimore City, Maryland."
» U.S. Census Bureau. "Fact Sheet: Baltimore City, Maryland."
» Bowie, Liz. "Fewer Black Males Are Dropping Out of School in Baltimore." The Baltimore Sun, October 20, 2010.
» 2010 Maryland Report Card. "Baltimore City."
» Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. "FY 2010 Annual Statistical Report."
» Maryland State Department of Education. "Maryland Public School Suspensions by School and Major Offense Category, 2004-2005."
» Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. "Substance Abuse Treatment in Metropolitan Areas."
» Open Society Foundations. "Out-of-School Suspension, Maryland and Baltimore City 2009-2010."