I had to read this article three times to believe what the title said…amazing…so many people are sooooo lost…whomever is in charge in Baltimore needs to have their head examined…the Maryland governor has to be just as guilty…this is terrible…
As a now-retired lifetime educator in the Los Angeles area, I have seen ignorance and laziness on a large scale…I once taught at a high school where graduates could not read their own diplomas…
And, from where I sit, having raised five children and having taught ten thousand, it is ultimately the parents’ responsibility to raise their children properly. Sure the schools should help, but do not blame the school if your child turns out to be a lazy, uneducated bum.
A stunning report released on Monday showed that a Baltimore teen with a grade point average of just 0.13 was ranked near the top half of his class, which is drawing some much-need scrutiny about failing public school systems.
Per a report from WBFF-TV’s Project Baltimore, a mother was excited to see her 17-year-old senior son nearing graduation when she abruptly learned that he was actually going to be sent back to the ninth grade after only passing three classes in four years at the Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts on the city’s west side.
“He’s stressed and I am too. I told him I’m probably going to start crying. I don’t know what to do for him,” Tiffany France, the teen’s mother, told the outlet. “Why would he do three more years in school? He didn’t fail, the school failed him. The school failed at their job. They failed. They failed, that’s the problem here. They failed. They failed. He didn’t deserve that.”
Certainly, her son bears responsibility for his academic failings, as does France, who apparently never sought out a report card once in three and a half years. But France is not wrong about blaming Baltimore schools — at least when you see the rest of Project Baltimore’s stunning finds.
France’s son, a senior with only 2.5 credits who would start high school over again presumably at age 18, is almost in the top half of his class. Per reporting from WBBF, hundreds of other students at Augusta Fells Savage are failing, and they’re being promoted to more advanced courses while everyone looks the other way.
No one is even telling these kids’ parents, and those parents don’t seem to be asking. The whole thing comes to a head when students hit a wall at the end of their academic careers and there’s nowhere to go but back or out.
“I’m just assuming that if you are passing, that you have the proper things to go to the next grade and the right grades, you have the right credits,” France, who works multiple jobs, said of her lack of scrutinizing her son’s performance at school.
Still, her son was continually advanced forward, despite failing almost every class. He missed or was tardy to school 272 times throughout his first three years. Not one administrator ever bothered to inform France.
“I feel like they never gave my son an opportunity, like if there was an issue with him, not advancing or not progressing, that they should have contacted me first, three years ago,” said France, who seemed justifiably angered.
The shocking part about all of this is that her son is ranked 62 out of 120 — meaning there are 58 kids in that class that have a GPA of 0.13 or lower.
France’s son has since withdrawn from the school and hopes to graduate via an alternative school program by 2023. But many of these kids will probably drop out if they haven’t already, and we don’t know what the junior, sophomore and freshmen classes look like at this school and other schools.
As for the school district’s part in all of this: Why would a school report students as having dropped out if it’ll presumably hurt their bottom line with regard to funding? Who knows how far this public school scandal goes through the rest of the city — or other cities.
For those who have seen HBO’s drama series, “The Wire,” the news about the decay in public schools in Baltimore should come as no surprise. Certainly, that show was fictional and based on fictitious characters and events.
But the series creator David Simon, a former reporter for The Baltimore Sun, wrote it after being inspired by his lived experiences residing in and working in the corrupt, crime-ridden, Democratic-run city — and he actually spent an entire season showing fans of that show how broken its school system apparently was.
Season Four of “The Wire,” if you saw it, walked you through school failure and corruption in a way that showed you that people who want to change the world for the better in places where corruption is king are either exiled or must fall in line, thanks to politics.
From 2002 until 2008, Baltimore captivated HBO’s audience by showing how a corrupt Democratic city operates through a lens never before seen by people who casually watch TV to be entertained. The corruption ran from the mayor’s office to school classrooms — and everywhere in between.
The show has aged well and been reviewed as having been a terrifyingly accurate snapshot of urban decay by Simon, who probably wouldn’t be able to create such a show in today’s environment, despite himself being a staunch liberal.
Life often imitates art, or the other way around with Baltimore and “The Wire.” But how far do public school failings such as the one at the Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts spread beyond Baltimore?
How far do the failings of public schools go nationally, and now that schools are closed and classes conducted online? We’d probably all be shocked if we knew the true scope of the catastrophic failure.
The last calendar year has shown us the ugly reality of how broken public education is.
Teachers unions, corrupt administrators, ideologue teachers, lazy parents and kids who don’t have any incentive to succeed or move on are all contributing to the failed system. Now, it’s mostly on Zoom.
If what Simon showed us is accurate — and not much contradicts that based on consensus reviews here, here and here –conventional wisdom tells us the broad solution will probably be more money thrown at failing schools. Schools such as the one France’s son went to will probably keep failing, but they’ll fail with new iPads.