Leaked documents show Baltimore high schoolers perform math, reading at grade school level

https://foxbaltimore.com/news/project-baltimore/city-high-schoolers-performing-math-and-reading-at-elementary-level

Leaked documents show Baltimore high schoolers perform math, reading at grade school level

By Chris Papst

June 2, 2021

Baltimore (WBFF) – An alarming discovery out of Baltimore City Schools. Project Baltimore has obtained student assessment data that North Avenue does not release publicly. That data shows some students who could soon graduate, are performing at an elementary school level, academically.

Project Baltimore, over the years, has heard from many parents who say their children are being pushed through Baltimore City Schools without getting the education they need. Julie Gaskins told us back in 2018 that her seventh grader was doing math and reading at a second-grade level.

Project Baltimore also spoke with Gregory Gray, a Baltimore City Schools father, back in 2019.

“My son is really in desperate need of tutoring in math,” Gray told Project Baltimore. “And, how did my son pass if he didn’t know none of this math?”

Now, Project Baltimore has obtained student assessment scores from just one class, in one high school, that show how widespread the problem appears to be.

iReady is a system schools use to measure at which grade level a student is performing. In Baltimore City Schools, iReady assessments are given in math and reading, three times a year, to measure a student’s progress. The scores we obtained show some students are performing 10 grade levels below their age.

Fox45 News is not disclosing the school or the class to protect student identities. But we can report the iReady scores are for 11th graders in math and reading. Nine students completed the reading assessment, but only two scored at a high school level. One scored at a seventh-grade level. The other six scored at an elementary school level. In math, seven students completed the assessment. Two scored at a high school level. The rest, who are high school juniors in Baltimore City Schools, scored at an elementary level, including one student doing math at a first-grade level.

According to Education.com, a first-grade math worksheet includes simple addition and subtraction, like 2 plus 3 and 9 minus 7. First graders also do connect-the-dot puzzles where they draw lines in numerical order to create an image. The iReady assessments done by North Avenue, show that for at least one student, this is highest level of math they can do, yet that students made it to 11th grade in City Schools.

“They were passing students on who couldn’t read, who couldn’t compute,” said Carl Stokes, a former City Council member and charter school operator. “I know principals in schools who say, it happened to me, who said, ‘I can’t pass this student to the next grade. They’re not ready.’ North Avenue refused to allow us to fail the students without a fight. And we fought because we knew we would be hurting the kid.”

Stokes said at his charter school, which closed last year, about 90 percent of his incoming sixth graders, every year, were not reading or doing math at grade level. Ninety percent had iReady scores below the grade the students were in at the time.

“That’s the deal we have here. We have thousands of kids who are not getting an education, who get out of school or quit school and they have no skillset to sustain themselves. They can’t. They can’t get a decent job. They can’t live well,” said Stokes.

The iReady scores we have are for just 16 students in one class at one school. Project Baltimore has filed a public records request with City Schools for additional iReady scores, minus any personally identifying student information. We reached out to Baltimore City Schools for this story but did not receive a response.

August 13, 2021. Tags: , , , . Dumbing down, Education. Leave a comment.