Most people with half a brain and an ounce of common sense know our nation’s public school system is largely a dumpster fire.
This particular blaze, however, has raged far out of control.
WBFF, a Fox-affiliated local channel in Baltimore, Maryland, has published a shocking report detailing how one 17-year-old Baltimore student has managed to fail all but three of his classes, boasts a stunningly low 0.13 GPA, and yet has still managed to rank 62nd in his senior class of 120 kids – meaning half of his classmates are actually going worse than he is.
The boy’s mother says she was told that due to his failing grades, her 17-year-old son, who she thought would be graduating this year, is now being moved back to the 9th grade at the Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts. She told WBFF this was the first time she had heard that her son was even struggling in school, saying she’d assumed he was doing fine because the school kept moving him through the grades.
But school records show the boy had only passed three classes during his entire four-year time at the school, and that he'd either been late or absent from class a total of 272 days. According to his transcripts, despite his continued absence and failing grades in classes like Algebra I, he was continually promoted to the next grade and placed in Algebra II.
"He's stressed and I am too. I told him I'm probably going to start crying. I don't know what to do for him," his mother, Tiffany France, told WBFF. "Why would he do three more years in school? He didn't fail. The school failed him. The school failed at their job. They failed. They failed, that's the problem here. They failed. They failed. He didn't deserve that."
France claims the school never reached out to her to let her know her son was struggling or needed additional help, and WBFF's investigation found that the boy's records show only one teacher ever requested a parent-teacher conference with her in four years.
The school, however, claims that all parents should have access to their child's academic records via their online "Campus Portal," and claims they did contact France to talk about her son's struggles.
But it turns out this one student's story isn't a singular incident, but rather just one of literally hundreds of examples of a widespread problem at the school. During their investigation into Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts as part of their “Project Baltimore,” WBFF found that this young man is just one of hundreds of students who're failing at AFSIVA.
According to a breakdown of the school’s demographics by Fox5, AFSIVA is 95 percent Black. Less than 5 percent of its students are proficient in math and English, and the graduation rate sits at a dismal 48 percent. The average SAT score is only 735, and less than a third of its students go on to college.
Among the 434 students currently enrolled, the school’s attendance rate is only 61 percent.
Following the report, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has now called for an investigation into how so many students can be failing at just one school.
“This is completely unacceptable. It’s worse than anything I’ve heard in the whole time that I’ve been governor,” he said. “The fact that this particular school in the Baltimore City School system is failing that many kids is just outrageous.”
Baltimore’s Mayor Brandon Scott blamed the problem on not having enough money, telling WBAL, “We know that we can no longer continue to educate our children the way that we have been, C4. I know, you know, and it’s not just about this, but we know that our system has been underfunded by 300 million by the state.”
However, Fox5 found that Baltimore City comes in “fifth in per-student spending among America’s 100 largest school systems.”
Perhaps the problem isn’t funding. Perhaps the problem is inner city social ills spurred on by leftist policies, combined with a tragically inept public school system.