One Baltimore resident and disable Army veteran, Victor Able, Sr., is fed up with the public education that his son, a 12th grader on the verge of graduation, received from City Neighbors Charter School after he recently tested at 4th grade level in math and 5th grade level in reading. Able says his son was simply passed to the next grade year after year so that his school could continue to receive extra federal funding even though it failed to deliver results. After his complaints fell on deaf ears at city council and the mayor’s office, Able has now hired an attorney to address a system he says is "broken." Per Fox News:
According to the IEP report, the 12th grader reads at a 5th grade level; does math at a 4th grade level.
“It’s not supposed to happen,” stated Able. “I don’t want him to fall out into the streets.”
“They failed my son,” said Able. “Not just my son, a whole lot of kids. The system is broken. They need to stop and fix it.”
Able told Project Baltimore he has hired an attorney and has a meeting with the school later this month.
Confronted with the complaint, City Neighbors released the following generic statement which we can only assume roughly translates to 'we allow teachers the "autonomy" to consistently fail and never hold them to account because their union says we're not allowed to'...but that's a very rough translation.
“We provide a unique environment that is designed to empower students, nurture a sense of belonging and gives teachers autonomy to establish a strong culture of learning. Our faculty and staff are dedicated professionals who work diligently to ensure that all students receive the best education and our best efforts.” - Bobbi Macdonald, City Neighbors Charter School
Asked why he thinks his son has ended up where he is, Able said that Baltimore schools continue push kids into higher grades just to "have them out of the system."
“It’s like no one is worried about them,” said Victor Able, Sr. “It’s just push them all along and have them out of the system. It’s just not right.”
“I get so emotionally wrapped up in it, I just want to scream because how can this happen? How can this happen to him?” Able emotionally asked of his son, who he fears is being left behind.
When asked if this keeps him up at night, Able replied, “More than you know. More than you know. They have just dropped the ball.”
Of course, as we pointed out back in August (see: Baltimore School With Zero Students Proficient In Math Has Highest Graduation Rate), stories like the one above from Able are hardly unique in Baltimore as an investigative reporting initiative recently uncovered habitual bad behavior by teachers, including changing grades, intended to pass failing students through the system. On student even graduated after missing school 100 days during his senior year and receiving a first quarter GPA of 0.00.
Baltimore’s community is absolutely stunned after ‘Project Baltimore’, an investigative reporting initiative, which was launched in March 2017, by Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. asked this question: How can a high school with zero students proficient in math, have one of the highest graduation rates in Baltimore City?
Project Baltimore is investigating Northwood Appold Community Academy II, or NACA II, after teachers “contacted us saying grades are being changed so students can graduate”. The school is located in East Baltimore City, Maryland where nearly 1/3 of African Americans have zero net wealth.
In a stunning interview from one of the masked educators who uncovered this possible great theft of education.. They said, “grade changing. Giving out diplomas to students that did not earn them.”
Another teacher told Project Baltimore ,“if you are changing grades and you’re allowing people to walk, of course, that is what your numbers are going to look like.”
We found six seniors who failed a required foreign-language class, yet every one graduated. Another student graduated after being absent or late to school more than 100 days during the year, and had a first quarter GPA of 0.000.
Of course, until our public education system decides to put the needs of students ahead of the needs of teachers' unions then none of this will change.