Report: Baltimore HS senior passes just 3 classes in 4 yrs, still near top half of his class

A high school student in Baltimore, Md., failed all but three of his classes over four years and almost graduated near the top half of his class, according to Fox 45 News.

Tiffany France spoke with Project Baltimore, a special news unit of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Fox 45 News that investigates the Baltimore-area public education system — her son attends Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts in west Baltimore.

The mother was expecting her son to graduate in June, but instead, he was recently moved back to 9th grade due to earned credits.

His transcripts show he’s passed just three classes in four years, earning 2.5 credits, Fox 45 reported. In his first three years at Augusta Fells, he failed 22 classes and was late or absent 272 days.

“He’s stressed and I am too,” France explained. “I told him I’m probably going to start crying. I don’t know what to do for him. Why would he do three more years in school?”

The mother was adamant that Augusta Fells failed in doing their job.

“He didn’t fail, the school failed him,” she added. “The school failed at their job. They failed. They failed, that’s the problem here. They failed. They failed. He didn’t deserve that.”

Project Baltimore found that the student failed Spanish I and Algebra I but was still promoted to Spanish II and Algebra II. He also failed English II but was passed on to English III.

“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 said.

There are hundreds of students failing in Baltimore schools, according to the report.

Despite a .13 GPA, transcripts show France’s son ranked 62 out of 120, which means that 58 of his classmates, nearly half, had an equal or lower GPA.

There was reportedly only one teacher-parent conference requested during his time in school, which did not take place.

“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.

The mother was emotional about the position her 17-year-old son finds himself in.

“He’s a good kid. He didn’t deserve that. Where’s the mentors?” she asked. “Where is the help for him? I hate that this is happening to my child.”

Even more troubling is the fact that there are an awful lot of other students in the Baltimore school system apparently facing similar circumstances.

A City Schools administrator who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation told FOX45 News that the school failed because there is a process in place to help students who are falling behind or have low attendance.

“I get angry. There’s nothing but frustration,” the administrator said. “We see on the news the crime that occurs, the murders, the shootings, we know that there are high levels of poverty in Baltimore. Things like this are adding to that. His transcript is not unusual to me. I’ve seen many transcripts, many report cards, like this particular student.”

Tom Tillison

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