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Investigation Claims Over 12,000 Grades Were Changed From Fail to Pass in Baltimore High Schools

Investigation Claims Over 12,000 Grades Were Changed From Fail to Pass in Baltimore High Schools

“15 percent or more of the past year’s graduating class had grade changes related to meeting graduation requirements”

You have to wonder if the failing students can speak articulately about diversity, equity and inclusion policies, because that’s all that really matters, right?

The Lion reports:

Over 12,000 grades changed from failing to passing in Baltimore high schools according to fraud investigation

A “culture of fear and a veil of secrecy” kept Baltimore school officials from “speaking freely about misconduct,” including how over 12,000 grades were changed from failing to passing.

This is one of many findings in a June 8 report from Maryland Inspector General for Education Richard Henry. The report found mass grade changes from Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) from 2016-2020.

The report follows five investigations launched in the school district in 2019 “where 15 percent or more of the past year’s graduating class had grade changes related to meeting graduation requirements.”

The allegations of grade changing go back at least to 2017, when Sinclair Broadcast Group’s “Project Baltimore” reported grade inflation in the district.

BCPS dismissed the allegations in a 2019 statement, saying the accusations “clearly” don’t indicate “widespread, systemic abuse or improper activity” despite five substantiated cases of grade inflation made against the district.

Henry’s office initiated its investigation in September 2020. Due to BCPS’s policies protecting student data in grades 2-8, the investigation only included high schools.

Report findings

Over the years 2016-2020, the investigation found 12,542 grades had changed from failing to passing, contrary to the district policy on failing grades, which states:

“If a student receives an F as a marking period grade, the numerical equivalent of that grade cannot be lower than a 50 when used to calculate the student’s final grade. If a student failed a marking period by earning a 50-59 that score should remain unchanged when calculating the student’s final grade. This requirement is meant to allow students to improve their grade through diligent work in subsequent marking periods to pass the course.”

The investigation gathered a large amount of electronic data in addition to interviewing former and present teachers and administrators across several BCPS schools.


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Damn! I should’ve went there. I would’ve been an “A” student. Instead, I went to a school where the teacher workded the crap out of you and, if you were lucky, you got a “C”.,

Oh well, I guess my C is better than their A.

And this is why they want the 4th season of “The Wire” to go away. This s only a “recent” problem to those who are still livng in the 50’s.

henrybowman | June 23, 2022 at 3:01 pm

“This requirement is meant to allow students to improve their grade through diligent work in subsequent marking periods to pass the course.”

Didn’t we have a teacher right here on LI explain this tactic to us as being “not uncommon” nationwide? I believe she said she had to do this in her school.

    artichoke in reply to henrybowman. | June 23, 2022 at 9:05 pm

    Yeah that will work well. If they’re unable to keep up with their regular courseload, have them take the following courses while redoing the earlier ones (from several years back, likely) at the same time. They’ll suddenly do great!

My question is, what harm was done? Sure those students will be promoted and graduated and thus will end their entitlement to taxpayer funded education.

But would holding them back have been better? Is there a pathway for them to acquire solid basic reading and arithmetic skills by even the age of 20? Is it fair to taxpayers to keep pouring money in, build additional school buildings and hire even more unionized staff for the overflow, etc. etc?

I think it’s reasonable to figure out the best you can reasonably do in the K-12 years, and leave it at that. I am not sure these were wrong decisions.

I think much of the problem is that it’s hard to teach them to read. It’s even harder because their mothers at home don’t read. And maybe grandmothers and aunts too. And if you don’t have reading under your belt, then the rest of education becomes basically pointless — rather than serving partly as practice for sharpening and applying that reading skill.

I am not even talking about math. Reading is more important and one rarely acquires math without having also learned reading. They’re not even getting reading down.

    7Ford7 in reply to artichoke. | June 24, 2022 at 12:18 pm

    The harm is just as you described; it’s not just the student who is shortchanged. It’s also their extended family but especially their immediate family, their children.

    Lack of education leads to lack of legitimate jobs. What career choices do these kids have:? Drug dealing, pimping, prostituting, stealing/robbing, panhandling, odd jobs.

      artichoke in reply to 7Ford7. | June 25, 2022 at 9:52 pm

      You write as if the school harmed them. No, the school system tried its best, doing what it does to the tune of large amounts of money for many years, to teach these kids to read. Many of them never learned and “get by” with tricks that are the best they can do without reading.

      Spending more money on more of the same, interpreted in a very broad sense, is pouring hard earned tax money down a rathole. I didn’t call the students that, but the process. It doesn’t work and more of it wouldn’t work either.

      The taxpayers are not the slaves of these students. Enough is enough. Don’t even insinuate the school harmed these kids. It did its best to help for 12 or 13 years. This isn’t to say these kids will never learn to read or could not with a different system. But more years of that school would be wasted.

    henrybowman in reply to artichoke. | June 24, 2022 at 2:39 pm

    It was considered hurtful and “stigmatizing” to 18-year-olds to have them age out while they were still in sixth grade. A typical Democrat response to a situation in which objective truth hurts someone’s feewings. Curiously, they never bothered to appropriate money for elevator shoes for students who were “stigmatized” for being short, makeovers for girls who were “stigmatized” for being unattractive, or custodial supervision for students who were ‘stigmatized” for being thugs.

Is anybody being prosecuted? Is anybody having their bonuses for good student scores rescinded? Yet another damning report that will result in nothing being done.

Remember when it was reported the State Department had $100 million or so go missing under Hillary’s watch? The obvious assumption is embezzlement, but no forensic investigation was done to determine where the money went. Very convenient, that.

    artichoke in reply to randian. | June 24, 2022 at 12:30 am

    Good student scores? You don’t know Baltimore …

      artichoke in reply to artichoke. | June 24, 2022 at 12:33 am

      Speaking of which, is there any other first or even second world country where large swaths of major cities (Baltimore, Chicago, Philly come to mind) are illiterate? This not for lack of trying; vast sums are spent. They just cannot learn. Everything has been tried, they failed. And we carry them along in society like a lead weight.

    henrybowman in reply to randian. | June 24, 2022 at 2:41 pm

    Bonuses? Government service is the only career in which you are rewarded more for failing more. “Our program is in trouble because we need more money.” And boom, Sam’s your uncle.

    artichoke in reply to randian. | June 25, 2022 at 9:55 pm

    Nothing being done? What would you do? The school is unable to teach them to read. They can’t stop the dance until the kids are 18 or so. So they keep dancing til then. Everyone wishes it were different, but nobody has the magic to make it happen, and we deserve a pragmatic solution. If someone has a better idea that hasn’t been tried, nobody’s stopping them from announcing it.

I didn’t know Dominion worked in the education sector, too.

Pepsi_Freak | June 24, 2022 at 9:46 am

“They just cannot learn.” Somehow I doubt that. They have learned to operate (at a minimal level at least) in society and have gathered “street smarts”, The point is that they can learn, but are not motivated to learn. Self-inflicted.

The lack of literacy among students is the responsibility of the parents, the teachers, and the administrators.

This article speaks to special education students, however, it really applies to all students. Worth reading…

The Blame Game! Are School Problems the Kids’ Fault?
Pamela Darr Wright, M.A., M.S.W. Licensed Clinical Social Worker

    artichoke in reply to 7Ford7. | June 25, 2022 at 9:59 pm

    No. The parents are indeed responsible because they brought these children into the world without the ability to prepare them for adulthood, broadly stated. But that’s not for us to deal with, we have to do our best reasonable with these kids. The teachers probably tried their best, many of them anyway. The profession does not have the magic to get better results with these kids, and neither do you or I. Administrators likewise.

    The students bear some responsibility. When the kid hits 9th grade and has some level of maturity and says “this is b*llsh*t, I am pretending to read but I should have learned to read”, goes to a teacher and pleads with them to be able to learn to read, and is willing to put in the work — SOMETHING WOULD BE DONE. Are any students doing that, and still don’t end up being helped? Prove it.