Hundreds of Students Found Failing in Baltimore City High School

Instructors from Raphael House lead a classroom discussion about consent and healthy relationships with a class of sophomores at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Ore., on April 15, 2019. What’s happening at this Catholic school in liberal Portland represents a larger debate unfolding in blue states and red, as …
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An investigation into Baltimore City schools revealed, in one high school in which hundreds of students are failing, a student who passed only three classes in four years actually ranks near the top half of his class, with only a 0.13 grade point average.

Project Baltimore, which investigates the Baltimore area’s public schools system and reports regularly on FOX 45 News, focused Monday on the case of Tiffany France’s son, who attends Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts in west Baltimore.

France’s son is 17 years old, but just found out he has been moved back to ninth grade because he has passed only three classes in four years.

Calls to Shut Down City School Where 0.13 GPA Ranks Near Top Half of Class

Calls are mounting for a Baltimore City Public Schools high school to be investigated and shut down immediately. This, after an alarming Project Baltimore investigation found hundreds of students are failing at the west Baltimore high school.

Posted by WBFF FOX 45 on Tuesday, March 2, 2021

France, however, said she thought her son was doing well and only discovered his failed classes in February. She explained she assumed her son was doing well, because, even though he had apparently failed most of his classes, he was still being promoted each year.

According to his transcripts, France’s son failed Spanish I and Algebra I, but was still promoted to Spanish II and Algebra II. Similarly, he failed English II but was still 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,” said France who, according to the news report, is a single mother with three children and three jobs.

Project Baltimore discovered that, in his first three years at the school, France’s son failed 22 classes and was late or absent 272 days.

“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,” France said.

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

According to Project Baltimore, a City Schools administrator, who asked to remain anonymous, said the school system failed France’s son because the procedures and interventions that have been established to help students who are falling behind or are chronically absent, were not put into action in this case.

The administrator said:

I get angry. There’s nothing but frustration. 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.

Baltimore City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises reportedly sent Project Baltimore the protocols for failing and absentee students, which include that school records can be accessed through a campus portal and that a student’s absence triggers an automated call to the family’s number.

Santelises also sent a statement saying the school conducted home visits and that France visited the school.

France, however, denies any of these things happened.

Project Baltimore continued:

What the statement does not address, is why France’s son was promoted despite failing classes. It doesn’t discuss his class rank, or the 58 other students with a GPA of 0.13 or lower. But it does say North Avenue is “reviewing actions that impacted student outcomes” at the school prior to this year.

According to the report, France has removed her son from Augusta Fells and enrolled him in an accelerated program at Francis M. Wood in west Baltimore, from which, if he performs well, he could graduate by 2023.

The results of the report led to calls for an investigation into Augusta Fells.

C4, or Clarence Mitchell IV, and Bryan Nehman, co-hosts of the C4 and Bryan Nehman Show on WBAL Radio, demanded action Tuesday.

“I believe it’s violating the constitution rights of the children,” said C4, according to Fox 45 News. “There is no way in the world you can look at what is being reported by Project Baltimore and say, they are providing those children with a thorough and efficient form of public education.”

“This school needs to be shut down,” Nehman added. “If we have half the kids in the school that are below a .13. Not a 1.3, people. A .13; that school needs to be shut down. It’s not doing its job.”


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