Baltimore Public School Data Shows 41% of Students Have a 1.0 GPA or Less

We have previously discussed the continued failing of the public schools in preparing African American students for college or the workforce. I have specifically discussed the horrific figures coming out of Baltimore despite being one of the top districts in terms of per capita spending. Recent data now offers another chilling statistic: 41 percent of students in the Baltimore system have a 1.0 (D) GPA or less.

Project Baltimore obtained a chart assembled by Baltimore City Schools. Keep in mind that this is almost half of the 20,500 public high school students in Baltimore.

What astonishes me is the lack of criticism of the school and political leadership of these major cities who have failed the African American community for decades. It is hard to imagine how the school system could possibly do worse while receiving some of the highest levels of federal and state expenditures per student.

This is not due to a lack of funding or support. It is a catastrophic failure that is not being addressed in the media despite occurring annually in cities like New York, Baltimore, Chicago, and other media hubs.

82 thoughts on “Baltimore Public School Data Shows 41% of Students Have a 1.0 GPA or Less”

  1. GPAs are all relative. For example, at very demanding schools, such as Faber College, a 1.2 GPA is at the top of the Delta pledge class.

    1. Oil floats on top of, and is supported, benefited and assisted by, water when the mixing, thereof, is attempted.

  2. Baltimore spends 17,493 dollars per student. Let’s say a class size is 25 students. That would be a gross expenditure of 437,325 dollars.
    The median teacher’s salary in Baltimore is 62,500. Where does the other 375K go for each classroom?
    Teaching in the public school was my first career and I got out of it in the early 1990s. I taught in an extremely poor district and we had quite a challenge on our hands. In this type of situation, the school must have strong, dedicated leadership who are called to the task. There are a lot of devoted teachers. I was fortunate to teach with them and to also have administration at all levels who came from the classroom to support me, though my yearly budget for supplies was 80 dollars. I was allowed two fundraisers and usually could bring that up to 350 dollars. The rest usually comes out of the teacher’s modest salary.

    The fundament problem is the breakdown of the family. That is a complex problem, however, there is obviously a breakdown in the system that obviously cannot be fixed with money. It will take heart and soul and will require leadership with no conflict of interest to break up the school district’s little party and shake things up. There are 79,297 students in the district which means that their budget is close to 1,400,000,000. There is a lot of power in that much money and the number of stakeholders must be incalculable. In the real world, leadership who turned in this report card, at all levels, would get a pink slip and a “Fair Thee Well.”

    “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” -Albert Einstein

  3. You can’t expect the numbers to change until the crime is addressed and you can’t address the crime until you address the abysmal poverty. I don’t have all the answers, I’m not even sure if I have all the questions but I do know one thing. No kids going to learn in an environment of high crime. Where walking to school, can get you shot.

    Want to improve the grades? Improve the environment.

    1. and you can’t address the crime until you address the abysmal poverty.

      The reason we have crime is because society from top to bottom, is too rich. Just go back to the Great Depression. Nobody had anything, but not near the crime we have now. Before “safety nets” the people at the smallest groups, families, and moving up stream to churches, and neighbor hoods, all pulled together for the common good.
      Now the federal govt has destroyed the all of those grass roots relationships. No need to feed the hungry when your ebt card gets reloads with no effort on your part.
      The govt is an abysmal substitute for family and community

      1. “The reason we have crime is because society from top to bottom, is too rich.”

        But that would be like blaming guns for gun crimes. Money isn’t at fault; it is the love of money–or–ingratitude. You can be rich and grateful and appreciative. You can also be dissolute and wasteful. It is the sentiment beneath that matters.

        People were still going to church during the Great Depression, too, so they regularly reflected on their blessings and on the ways they could be better people.

    2. People are shooting each other in high crime areas in Baltimore, Chicago, Atlanta and New York and other cities all over the US that has nothing to do with poverty. Its not burglary or robbery that is leading to these shooting deaths. Its gangs, thugs, turf wars and other causes. Maybe if these kids who perform so poorly had an “environment” like a father in the home to teach then values and a higher priority given to their education at home these terrible numbers would change. Poverty does not cause crime except for those who make it their excuse. You choose to be a criminal. More people are poor who do not commit crimes than do.

  4. Professor Turley,
    “What astonishes me is the lack of criticism of the school and political leadership of these major cities who have failed the African American community for decades.”

    I am not. In areas with a higher percentage of disadvantaged students, I see (seemingly) very little interest or involvement on the part of many of the parents. For some it is because they are overwhelmed with their circumstances. I suspect for others they are poorly educated themselves and have no idea what the expectations should even look like or even what sacrifices are really involved. Others don’t care. Others figure that is “for the experts” even if the so-called experts aren’t doing so hot.

    Even in some more well-to-do areas there is little parent or community involvement because they have been too trusting of the system, don’t have a vision of a good education themselves (despite being decently educated), or, again, trust “the experts” and other people to get their kids educated.

    Many of all socio-economic classes seem to have forgotten their duty as citizens to speak up at Board meetings and Council meetings and the need to speak with their elected representatives. Parents and community members grouse but do not come to the meetings. Maybe they write a lot of emails or make phone calls, but I certainly do not see more than a handful of parents and other community members at the school board meetings in my district. I think this is not unusual.

    To what degree is the lack of criticism of the school and the leadership due to the community not paying attention or simply not making their concerns heard or not voting or not talking to their neighbors about their concerns.

  5. A lot of money is spent but most go to the administrators who give it to the teachers unions who become more powerful and vote for progressive causes voting out any conservative votes.

  6. This is not due to a lack of funding or support. It is a catastrophic failure that is not being addressed in the media despite occurring annually in cities like New York, Baltimore, Chicago, and other media hubs.

    These scholastic failures are not bugs – rather they are one of the prime features of all centralized school districts containing thousands of students – reduced learning standards for students and increased pay/benefits for teachers/administrators/vendors.

    These problems are also societal in nature – if a students parents fail to involve themselves in their childs up-bringing/education the results will be lacking.

    These boondoggles are a national disgrace. The entire putrid central school district paradigm needs to be torn down to the ground and rebuilt into small neighborhood classes.

    In the beginning any potential solutions will be painful to enact but within a generation the seeds sown will reap a beneficial harvest. Failure to act will only insure to limit the potential of current/future students and the nation as a whole.

    Allowing these failed systems to continue is the height of insanity as we are destroying generations of young minds before children even have a chance to begin life’s journey.

    This is the most pertinent national security issue facing the nation today – without current/future generations excelling in reading, writing and arithmetic our nations collective future will be in serious doubt.

    Fire all persons responsible for this sorry state of affairs, sell off all school district buildings, land holdings and other material possessions – yes a great many rice bowls will be broken and their will be oceans of tears.

    Move students into local neighborhood classes of 10 students per class with teachers directly accountable to parents.

    Remove onerous federal/state teaching diktats that provide little of value in the classroom.

    Multiple-guess tests are verboten.

    In order to advance students must show proficiency in classroom subject matter.

    These are but a few potential solutions.

    One guaranteed result in allowing these failed systems to continue is catastrophe for both students and the nation.

    1. Personanongrata,
      I like much of what you have to say. I especially like the more local element. People can wrap their arms around smaller districts–no more than 1500 students in a high school, I think, tops.

      “Move students into local neighborhood classes of 10 students per class with teachers directly accountable to parents”

      I like the first half of this suggestion. However, I am concerned about the second half. There are school board members out there who do not have a vision of what constitutes a sound education. There are many more parents who have no idea how to really hold teachers accountable. They are not well-educated themselves so they do not know what they do not know. I think this is where other eyes from the community can be beneficial. Well-educated people in the community who pay attention to the quality of education in their district can help hold teachers accountable when perhaps parents are not as able.

      “This is the most pertinent national security issue facing the nation today”

      It is one of the most pertinent national security issues facing the nation today. The other is obesity and lousy nutrition. This problem undergirds some of the problems seen in the realm of education. If kids don’t have what their bodies need to help them think clearly, then learning things well gets hampered.

  7. John McWhorter examined the failing black student phenomena and says that, in part, it has to do with the perception that education is a “white” thing, hence, blacks have little incentive to participate. Ironically, those blacks who get past this self-defeating view actually do well in higher education. But it’ll all be a mute point if the Democrats continue to remove all educational standards, including grades and entrance exams. Like magic, there will be no more failing students, no more bad teachers, and no more problem schools. All will be well in Democratic paradise.

    1. giocon1,
      John McWhorter is great. I really enjoy his conversations with Glenn Loury.

      Regarding the educational standards, though, focusing on the standards does not really lead to excellence. The standards are very focused on ‘skills’ rather than content, and, in order to game the standardized tests, some important things end up not getting taught because they aren’t emphasized on those blasted tests. Who needs to know about the Peloponnesian War (gee, and better yet–why)? It’s not a standard and it isn’t a discussion point on standardized, primarily multiple-choice tests. Focus on reading, focus on the math that is covered, maybe hit some science…if it’s tested.

  8. I think the 1.0 grade was for students who never showed up.

    Lower grades are for students who show up and attack the teacher.

    There are no Fs I suspect…well, maybe if one kills a teacher, but it’s Baltimore so maybe not even then. It’s the culture.

  9. Ever wonder why live webcams are ubiquitous except in the classroom? Bodycams and dashcams for law enforcement routinely prove narratives false. Not one more penny should be “invested” in education until live webcams are set up in every classroom. Even then, parents should insist on their children wearing bodycams.

  10. If Karen is a right wing ideologue is irrelevant.

    What she wrote was fairly accurate. What she wrote was to propose a solution to the problem.
    That is the kind of thing we need, rather than name calling, ad hominem left or right attacks.

    1. You’re just an American-hating liberal democrat with racist conservatives leanings who supports republican policies as long as Biden is in office! Wait, huh?

  11. As Lyndon Baines Johnson said when passing the 1964-1965- voting and civil rights acts. He said ; ” we will keep the n***** on the plantation for the next 100 years, and now it is only 56+ years later (a whole generation). So with continued reducing standars, and pool depths receeding; another 44 will close it out.

  12. Just in case Biden decides to appoint Czar Harris to get to the root cause of this problem, here are just 11 of the 45 objectives of the Communist party for the United States that were presented to Congress in 1963. If you read the communist’s goals and deny they have achieved any or all of them, then you are a useful idiot.

    17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.
    18. Gain control of all student newspapers.
    19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.
    24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech and free press.
    25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.
    26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”
    31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the “big picture.” Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.
    32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture–education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.
    36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.
    40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.
    41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.
    42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use [“]united force[“] to solve economic, political or social problems.

    How did we get to this point? Simple, we stopped teaching history and civics. Those subjects were replaced with social studies, which is just the study of leftist ideological agendas. Our education system is no longer based upon learning, educating, it is focused on indoctrinating. Leftists have overtaken our school boards, the most important elected positions in America. Yet, it is the elected position that routinely has the least amount of voter participation.

    Lenin was correct. Western Civilization would topple because of useful idiots advancing the ideals of socialism, communism, and Marxism. And it began in the halls of our academic institutions. The irrational emotionalism that is spreading like cancer across America is quite disconcerting, utterly illogical.

    The problem is that there are those who believe you can appease the mob. That you can have a rational discussion with a useful idiot. What we can do is take a stand, speak up, and just say no!

    If we fail to say no to America’s useful idiots, then another of Lenin’s quotes will come to fruition — “the goal of socialism is communism.”

  13. So, the politicians in Baltimore who declare that they are the friends of the Black man fail to educate their children and yet the have voted them into office for the last 50 years. Somehow they tell them that’s it’s racism that has held the kids back when they are the ones who have been in control of the system. The Democrats are waving the racism flag because more Blacks and Hispanics than ever before have voted for Republicans and they’re running scarred. Just wave that racism flag at em and those sheep will go right back in the pen there pardner. They’re so easy to scare. Don’t they git it, they belong to us.

    1. Well, the newest member of the “Squad,” Jamaal Bowman, seems to think so:

      The Green New Deal for Public Schools represents the level of school infrastructure investment that is urgent and necessary to heal the harm from decades of disinvestment, redlining and cycles of poverty and trauma, particularly for Black and brown children,” Bowman continued. “What this comes down to is whether we’re willing to provide our kids with the resources they need to realize their brilliance and have a livable planet.

    2. As long as they get tenure plus another few weeks paid vacation a year and also extend summer break. Then, yeah, it might work…

    3. I’m not necessarily opposed to paying teachers more money to help attract the best and brightest, so long as the expectations for teachers are also high. Prospective teachers should have higher GPAs in order to be hired (minimum 3.0?). No degrees like “Middle School Education” for anyone teaching 7th grade or above–the degree should be in a particular field of study, and, if a teacher has an advanced degree, the degree should be in a particular field of study, too, rather than in “education”.

      What are we saying culturally about how much we value education if we have horrible comments like “if you can’t do, you teach” floating about?!

  14. I study math and science,
    I hate my classes.
    I got a crazy indoctrinator he wear CRT patches.
    Things are gettin sad and their only getting bleaker,
    The future looks so bad,
    Says my woke teacher.
    Says my woke teacher.

    With such great role models what’s the point of trying?

    1. With such great role models what’s the point of trying?
      I don’t like what they sell’n so I aint buying..
      Give me liberty or give me cash
      Just do it b’fo the market crash!

  15. SLAVERY – BAD.


    So say the communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs).

    Stop it, man!

    You’re killin’ me!

  16. This will not be popular.

    Parents are responsible for the education of their children.

    We were involved and present from kindergarten through high school graduation. Never missed parent teacher conferences, even through highschool. Questions were asked and answers were provided. School board meeting were attended. All of that involvement made teachers and administrators very nervous.
    If your 8 year old child cannot read the front page of the newspaper to you, that’s your fault.

  17. The parent, far more often only 1 rather than 2, needs to get a school voucher for use in any school, gov’t or private or homeschool.

    The real issue is that, for too many students AND their teachers “studying is too white”. Black school culture today eschews studying.
    This leads to failure, and then racism is blamed.

    The political purpose by Democrats is create a bigger problem that is then, wrongfully, blamed on racism. Rather than bad black culture of little studying.

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