Baltimore, MD

Student Missed 272 Days of High School Finishes With 0.13gpa

Joey Lowe

Project Baltimore Reported Student Ranked 62 out of 120 Students in Graduating Class

BALTIMORE. There are hundreds of students that attend Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts in West Baltimore who are failing their classes, yet they are being promoted by a system that overlooks grades, tardiness, and absenteeism. One frustrated mom, Tiffany France, is fed up with it and is sounding the alarm. Her oldest son is 17 years old and has attended school for 4 years there and she believed he was ready to graduate this past May and was surprised to find out he had only earned 2.5 credits during his time there.

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Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual ArtsWJLA ABC7 News

France claims the school never contacted her about her son's excessive tardiness and absenteeism. In four years of attendance, he was absent 272 days and failed 22 classes, yet each semester he was promoted to increasingly higher, more difficult classes. Each year, he was advanced from the 9th grade through the 12th grade. When it came time to graduate, she learned he wouldn't get his diploma because he didn't have nearly enough credits.

To remedy the situation, she was told he could start over in the 9th grade and try again or he could go to night school and earn his G. E. D. Neighter solution was acceptable for this frustrated and now, angry, mom. She's on a mission to fix the system and she's making headway although it's been a difficult fight. What's even more frightening is this isn't some overwhelmed, understaffed inner-city school. Her son's graduating class has a total of 120 students and his class position was 62. That means there are 58 students in attendance that are in worse off shape than his 0.13gpa.

The school administrator stated they have procedures and protocols in place that should activate whenever a student is struggling, especially when absenteeism is involved. Part of the protocols involves notifying the parent and meeting face-to-face. Apparently, that never happened in this case and France's student was promoted along with those who were passing. An external watchdog group, Project Baltimore, is involved now and they intend to keep the pressure on until working protocols are enacted.

Meanwhile, France has moved her son to an accelerated learning environment at Francis M. Wood where he can graduate in 2023 if he applies himself and attends classes regularly.

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I am an old disabled man living on my ranch in NE Texas and I write about the world around me. I write about human nature, humanity, and the lessons we can learn from listening to each other. My published works appear on Vocal.media and Medium.com. I'm currently writing a novella about the unexpected death of an imaginary friend.

Longview, TX
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