Five Baltimore Schools do not have a single student who is reading at grade level

Baltimore Schools- four high schools and one middle school do not have a *single student* who is considered proficient at math or reading. Not one. This is fraud. This is failure. It’s a tragedy.
New Hope is a small school with nearly 120 students, 90% black, and the drop out rate is over 70%  It’s also considered a special education school for Maryland.  100% of the enrolled students are eligible for free lunches.  I don’t know what it means for them to be a special education school- are the students mostly kids with learning disabilities, emotional issues, or kids with mental disabilities? But let’s set this school aside for now.
Achievement High School is an alternative school with just under 400 students. They are there because of learning problems and/or emotional issues.  My husband spent a year teaching kids just like this. His students loved him, most follow him on FB and want to keep in touch with him.  They all improved under his care.   I’ll cut the alternative school some slack.
The middle school is supposed to be wonderful. Only 258 kids, a student teacher ration of 11 to 1. But those kids, grades 6-8, can neither read nor do math at their grade level. They have been failed by their families, every teacher they have ever had, every principal they have ever had, every person on the school board, every person who has had fingers on the money that goes to their schools.
Their teachers are making 68K a year in an area where the median household income is 24K and over 80% of the students get reduced or free school lunches. I know it’s ultimately the parents’ responsibility here, but teachers and admin have responsibilities, too. Passing kids who can’t read and write for at least 6 years is not a good look. Public schools exist in order to the job of educating the children from families who either cannot or will not do the job themselves, right? That’s their whole justification for their existence and for taking funds from taxpayers. And here they are clearly not doing that job.
Frederick Douglass High School has nearly 900 students. 99% minorities. Think about the future of these 900 kids who cannot or write proficiently. They can’t do math with basic competency for their age, in fact, it is doubtful they can do basic math at any level.  The test has 5 levels.  4 and 5 are considered proficient.  The best score was one single student who scored a 3.  89% of those kids got a 1. They have been failed by the adults in their lives. It’s heart-wrenching. Do you know what Frederick Douglass went through to learn to read and write? Even today his autobiography is regarded widely as one of the greatest of the American biographies ever written. This high school, named after a man who yearned for literacy for all his people, came into existence in 1883, and it is the second oldest high school in the country created for African american students. Every adult involved in this disgrace is spitting on the legacy of a proud, bold, strong man, of the parents who worked to start this school in get their kids in it, parents who likely could not read themselves, but were desperately eager to give literacy to their children.
It is not racist to call rat infested, trash filled places rat infested and trash filled. It may be impolitic and blunt, but facts are not racist.
I do not know if it’s racism to continue to warehouse black children in schools where they are not learning to read and write and do math, to continue passing them when not a single child is actually receiving the most basic of educations, but it ought to be a serious crime. It is fraud, neglect, abuse, and a wicked disgrace and the kids deserve far better.
The next school on the list is New Era Academy, which has 293 students in grades 6th through 12th and  a student teacher ratio of 15.4 to 1.  How did this many children who cannot do basic math and English make it to high school? 96% of these kids are from low income families.  6% of them are white and 89% are black. Interesting to note the out of school suspension rate is 12% for the white kids, 8% for the black kids, and the 5% hispanic kids don’t get suspended at all.    What will happen to them when they leave school?  How will they raise their children?  When their kids cannot read or do math, will we blame these kids, who have been passed through year after year even though they can’t do the work?  At one point is it the responsibility of the adults who take taxpayer funds for the purpose of educating other people’s kids?
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