A significant number of Baltimore public high school students earned below a “D” grade point average during the first three quarters of the 2020–2021 school year, according to an analysis.
The analysis by Project Baltimore, an investigative reporting series by Fox affiliate WBFF, found that during that time period, 41 percent earned a 1.0-grade point average (GPA) or below. That would mean that more than 8,400 of Baltimore City Schools’ 20,500 students are getting grades below a “D” overall.
Meanwhile, the analysis found that 21 percent of city high school students obtained a 3.0 or better GPA—or a “B” average.
The school district, in a statement to Fox News and other outlets, appeared to blame the poor student performance on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Consistent with the experience of many school districts across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic created significant disruptions to student learning. As early as the summer of 2020, City Schools identified large numbers of students with decreases in their grade point averages and classroom performance when compared to past performances,” Baltimore City Schools stated.
The statement added that “City Schools is providing students with a variety of opportunities to acquire the unfinished learning they lost” and “each student’s progress will be assessed, and an action plan will be developed to complete any unfinished learning,” which will “guide families and teachers in helping students get back on track.”
Across the United States, a number of public schools struggled to implement online learning for students during COVID-19-related lockdowns. Some districts saw an increased rate of failures and an increase in absences from classes.
For example, nearby Anne Arundel County in Maryland saw failure rates more than double to 7 percent from 3 percent, according to data obtained by the Baltimore Sun.
Jovani Patterson, who ran for Baltimore City Council president last year, noted that the school district absorbs a considerable amount of funding but doesn’t deliver results.
“We don’t see much change. Our schools outspend 97 percent of other major school districts,” he said in a campaign ad.
“They don’t care, man. They come from the same environment,” Patterson said of city officials and what he described as an inability to deliver positive results for students. The Baltimore City Council leader, Nick Mosby, and other officials are “a product of Baltimore City schools.”
“But then when you bring this [analysis] to them, they don’t care. They don’t care at all. You have to raise the standard … Everyone should be speaking out about this.”
Officials for the city of Baltimore and its school district didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.