Forty Percent of Baltimore’s Public Schools Do Not Have a Single Student Proficient in Math

I have previously written about the near total meltdown of our public education system in some major cities. Prominent in these discussions has been Baltimore, which continues to fail inner city children in teaching the most basic subjects. This week, that failure is on full display with a report that forty percent of Baltimore’s schools lack a single student who has achieved grade-level proficiency in math.  In various cities, the response of administrators has often been to lower the standards to continue to move kids out of the system without the skills needed to thrive in this economy.

In a prior column, I was particularly moved by the frustration of a mother in Baltimore who complained that her son was in the top half of his class despite failing all but three of his classes. Graduating students without proficiency in English or Math is the worst possible path for these students, schools and society.

The crisis continues with the new report that looked at 32 high schools administering the standardized test and found that 13 produced no students who proved proficient in math. Three-fourths of the Baltimore students taking the test were given the lowest possible score of one out of four.

At the five “elite” high schools, only 11.4 percent of students were math proficient.

We previously discussed the Baltimore public educational system as an example of where billions of dollars have been spent on a system with continuing failing scores and standards. Recent data adds another chilling statistic: 41 percent of students in the Baltimore system have a 1.0 (D) GPA or less.

Public schools and boards are making the case for school choice advocates with failing scores and rising controversies.

Baltimore City Public Schools responded to this shocking report with an effective shrug: “We acknowledge that some of our high school students continue to experience challenges in math following the pandemic, especially if they were struggling beforehand.” However, the system was failing these students long before the pandemic.

BCPS has a $1.7 billion dollar budget and was given an addition $799 million of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds this school year. Despite the massive infusion of money, the administrators have demonstrably failed these students who are left with few options in the workplace beyond low-level jobs.

Baltimore is not alone. The entire state of Minnesota reported a zero percent math proficiency rate in 75 of its schools during the 2022-23 school year.

What is baffling is that voters do not blame their political leadership for this disaster. Whole generations are being lost due to the inability of these districts to reach mere proficiency on basic subjects. Yet, there seems few political consequences for political leaders. Many seem to just accept that this is the fate of inner city children as politicians focus on other issues.

Again, the response of the Baltimore school district is maddening: “The work is underway to improve outcomes for students. But treating student achievement as an ‘if-then’ proposition does a great disservice to our community.”

I am not sure what the “if-then proposition” may be, but the greatest disservice to the community is the failure to offer these inner city kids a basic education  to be able to succeed in the workplace. The “work has been underway” for decades with lost generations of kids lured into criminal activities by the lack of any real opportunity to advance in our society. As a father of four, I cannot imagine how desperate many of these parents must be in cities like Baltimore where schools offer little hope for the future.

We have been discussing these low scores for years with little progress. Baltimore and other cities simply demand more money while deflecting any responsibility for their poor records. The true cost is not borne by the teachers, the unions, or the administrators. It is borne by these families who see the same failures replicated in every generation, processing their children out of school without needed skills.

213 thoughts on “Forty Percent of Baltimore’s Public Schools Do Not Have a Single Student Proficient in Math”

  1. Afraid this failure result just highlights the growing phenomenon of a large population of young black men who will be incapable of holding good jobs and will resort to crime. Prison populations will be increasingly disproportionately black but there is no alternative, society must protect itself.

    1. “society must protect itself.”

      Not doing a very good job of it in California or cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, etc

      1. Evidently societies with large minority populations, as in those cities, that keep voting in progressive politicians and very progressive DAs like Larry Krasner that favor no cash bail, little or no prosecutions for low level crime & reduce incarcerations don’t care to protect themselves. I suspect it’s because they don’t want large incarcerations most of which would be from those minority populations.

        What works in crime reduction is no secret. Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s “zero-tolerance” policing, which involves the strict and aggressive enforcement of all laws in accordance with the methods of traditional policing, was an aggressive enforcement and deterrence strategy based on James Q. Wilson’s Broken Windows research. This involved crackdowns on relatively minor offenses such as graffiti, turnstile jumping, etc which screams the message that order would be maintained, and it worked. But it tended to impact non-Whites, esp Blacks mostly, so it couldn’t last.

  2. This is socialist education. Socialists are pathologically lazy and stupid, but they want to be an aristocratic elite, and the only way of getting those things together is to create a population even more stupid than the elite. The dumbing-down of education has been a key socialist policy over several decades, preconditioning impressionable young minds to accept only socialist interpretations of history, language, art and science. The toppling of statues, the burning of cities, the looting of shops are the latest stages of a zombie apocalypse created by the socialist elite.

  3. Leftists have promised us they can fix blacks and make them just like us, they just need education, that failed, then they said they need more money, that failed. Then they went on this witch hunt, saying oh it must be their diet, lets feed them breakfast, that failed, lets feed them lunch, that failed, now they are even trying feeding them dinner, that failed. They have it in their mind that they can fix them because they believe they are just like whites. But the science says there is an IQ gap and IQ has alot to do with success in school and life and science also says IQ is largely genetic, leftists just assume that is racism and dismiss it and then just blame something else. When will they finally admit they are wrong?

  4. Let’s be perfectly blunt about the teachers in Baltimore. The problem is NOT that the kids can’t learn…..the problem is that their TEACHERS DID NOT LEARN……

    If your teacher reads at a grade 7 level; why be surprised when your child can’t read past the grade 6 level.
    If your teacher wants you to AXE as many questions as you want……why would you be surprised that your child can’t understand basic math?
    If your teacher tells your kids that Africans built the pyramids, or that Cleopatra was black…..why are you surprised that your kids sound like morons?

    If you want to fix the education system; start by replacing what is broken. And that would be about 90% of the teachers at these schools.
    Probably get the same results if the janitor was standing in front of the classroom.

  5. Burn it down, plow it under and salt the ground like the Romans did to Carthage.
    There is nothing of any value left.

  6. Better yet burn it down, plow it under and salt the ground like the Romans did to Carthage. There is nothing of value left.

  7. Seriously, wondering what the percentage of Baltimore teachers and administrators proficient in reading and math is? They can’t teach what they don’t know.

  8. Blacks in every city perform poorly overall in academics and behaviour. This is not new but rather an ongoing problem. Get away from the cities where they congregate.

  9. Locals vote for this. They vote for school board members. They vote for local and state politicians. This is what they want. They are reaping the “benefits” of their idiotic votes. Let them.

  10. To be fair, ANYONE in Baltimore who can possibly do so sends their kids to private (mostly Catholic) schools. That leaves the bottom achievers for the public schools to deal with. It’s still an incredibly powerful argument for the money to follow the student though.

    1. Wow🤦🤦🤦 abysmal. You know the drill though. Not to worry. Just playing the white supremist Boogeyman and ask for more money.🤡🤡🤡🤡 Fantastic article. Thank you

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