Baltimore, MD

No Students Pass State Math Exam in 13 Baltimore Schools

Carl Belen
    • No students from 13 Baltimore high schools passed the state math exam.
    • 74.5% of students from these schools scored the lowest possible score.
    • Baltimore City Schools received significant funding, raising questions about its utilization.

Outrage has erupted in Baltimore after it was revealed that not a single student from 13 high schools in the city passed their state math exams. Alarmingly, nearly 75% of these students scored the lowest possible mark.

These shocking results were part of Maryland's state testing. Jason Rodriguez, deputy director of the Baltimore-based nonprofit People Empowered by the Struggle, labeled the situation as "educational homicide." He emphasized that there's "no excuse" for such dismal performance, especially given prior warnings about the city's declining education standards.

The revelation comes on the heels of a recent study indicating a nationwide drop in educational standards during the pandemic. This study found that a third of fourth and eighth graders in the U.S. can't read at a basic level.

Dr. Sonja Santelises, the CEO of Baltimore City Schools, is facing calls for her resignation following these and other poor test results in recent years. Notably, some of Baltimore's most prestigious schools, such as Patterson High School and Frederick Douglass, were among those with no students passing the math exam.

Despite these results, Baltimore City Schools received a record $1.6 billion in funding last year. This has led to questions about how the funds were used, especially since the district also got an additional $799 million in Covid relief from the federal government.

Rodriguez believes the problem isn't about funding but rather accountability. He has been vocal about the ongoing educational crisis in Baltimore, even leading calls in 2021 for Dr. Santelises to step down due to falling test scores and graduation rates.

The current situation echoes a similar report from six years ago, where 13 Baltimore schools had no students proficient in math. Rodriguez expressed his frustration, stating, "We're still dealing with these same issues year after year." He also voiced concerns about the potential implications for the school-to-prison pipeline.

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