Baltimore City Public Schools reached a shocking low in student performance. In the first three quarters of this school year, nearly half of city high school students held a grade average below a D.
According to Project Baltimore, Jovani Patterson, who ran for Baltimore City Council president last year, said of the school district in a campaign ad: "They take. They take. They take. Yet, despite the amount of money they get, we don't see much change. Our schools outspend 97% of other major school districts."
Students' academic performance "is terrible," Patterson said. "This is just further perpetuating a cycle of poverty, of despair."
According to a chart assembled by Baltimore City Public Schools, 41% of Baltimore City high school students held a grade-point average below 1.0. This means that 20,500 public high school students in Baltimore had a grade average below a D.
''It's heartbreaking,'' Patterson said. ''If almost half of our kids are failing, what options do they have after high school? This is really disheartening. It's sad to see this.''
On the other end, 21% of high school students earned a GPA of 3.0 or better, or a B average. The district did, however, lose 706 high school students in the first three quarters of the school year.
In January, City Schools CEO Sonja Santelises announced that the failure rate almost doubled during COVID-19 shutdowns. A few months later, in May, the school district announced that high school students would not be held back after failing classes. The decision not to hold students back was based on statistics from the 2019-2020 school year that showed only 21% of students with a GPA below 1.0 rather than 41% this past academic year.
City Council President Nick Mosby, who defeated Patterson in the election, is now reportedly being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice over campaign finances, business and tax records.
''They don't care, man," Patterson said regarding the matter. "They come from the same environment. Nick Mosby is a product of Baltimore City schools. [Baltimore Mayor] Brandon Scott is a product of Baltimore City schools, and they see what's going on. But then when you bring this to them, they don't care. They don't care at all. You have to raise the standard. Everyone should be speaking out about this.''
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