The district said that “[A]bout 65% of secondary students and 50% of elementary students in the system are failing at least one class.”
Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Sonja Santelises announced the district “will not hold back tens of thousands of students” who failed the 2020-2021 school year.
The district has 78,000 students.
District officials blamed the COVID-19 pandemic since they had to keep the schools closed. You know, even though private schools around the country opened in September without a lot of problems.
But I digress.
From Fox News:
“As we approach the end of the 2020-2021 school year, we all recognize that students have experienced incredibly significant challenges and interruptions in their learning,” Santelises said. “With that in mind, the district has developed a fair and straightforward process for evaluating and recording students’ progress in the current school year.”
Santelises added that the district has taken advice from faculty, families, students, support staff, school leaders and others during virtual group meetings since February.
The Baltimore Sun wrote the decision affects the “tens of thousands of students failing classes this year.” The district said that “[A]bout 65% of secondary students and 50% of elementary students in the system are failing at least one class.”
Baltimore has 78,000 students. I know I wrote that number before, but come on. Tens of thousands of failing students out of 78,000 students. Geez, Louise.
Chief Academic Officer Joan Dabrowski said the district would test the students in the fall “to determine what skills they have missed and the schools will create a plan for each student designed to catch them up.”
The district will adjust grades as well:
Elementary students who have an “unsatisfactory” grade in a course and middle school students with a failing grade will get a “not completed.” High school students with a failing grade will get a “no credit.”
To hold students back “feels punitive,” she said. “It feels in contrast to a spirit of hope and a commitment we are going to make to students.”
Those numbers are proof that children of any age need in-person teaching to succeed.
Or is it in the case of Baltimore? Is the school district using COVID-19 to cover up its failure?
In March, Mike wrote about a student who passed three courses at Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts but placed near the top of his class.
Project Baltimore discovered many students failed at the school.
Officials told Tiffany France, his mother, that he needs to go back to ninth grade.
I used to teach. Do you know what I did when a student did not perform well? I called and emailed the parents. If they did not reply, I kept trying to contact them.
France has three kids and works three jobs. The school kept promoting her son, so why should she question his standing at school? I remember not wanting to tell my parents if I did not do well in school:
“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,” France told Project Baltimore. “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.”
France’s son attends Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts in west Baltimore. His transcripts show he’s passed just three classes in four years, earning 2.5 credits, placing him in ninth grade. But France says she didn’t know that until February. She has three children and works three jobs. She thought her oldest son was doing well because even though he failed most of his classes, he was being promoted. His transcripts show he failed Spanish I and Algebra I but was promoted to Spanish II and Algebra II. He also failed English II but was passed on to English III.
France’s son should have told her his struggles and grades at school. However, if the school withheld grades or changed grades on his report card, how would he know?
Baltimore has a history of pushing through students who fail. So I don’t buy their COVID-19 excuse.DONATE
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