Grade-Rigging Scandal Escalates: Baltimore Schools CEO Issue Memo In Response To Investigations

In recent times, we have covered a grade-rigging scandal in Baltimore, Maryland that is worth paying attention to. Baltimore City Schools could be on the verge of gaining national attention, as the prime example of America’s broken education system.

Project Baltimore, an investigative reporting initiative, by Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc, the largest U.S. broadcaster, has led the charge via lead investigator Chris Papst in uncovering evidence, which suggests Baltimore City school officials are running a grade manipulation scheme in the public school system.

In a report from August, Chris Papst’s team uncovered documents suggesting one school in Baltimore has the highest graduation rate in the area with zero students proficient in math. Throughout 2017, Project Baltimore has made the case with evidence—- grade manipulation is widespread.

Evolution of Project Baltimore’s evidence:

Back in May, Chris Papst’s team found “6 Baltimore schools, no students proficient in state tests”

Project Baltimore uncovers serious grade changing allegations at Baltimore City H.S

Baltimore City Schools panic—> launches internal investigation on grade-rigging

How can a high school with zero students proficient in math have the highest graduation rate?

Balt. City Teacher tells Project Baltimore: “We have graduated kids who can’t read the diploma”

Investigation into grade manipulation expands in city schools

Balt. School Administrator tells Project Baltimore 70% of City Schools change grades.

Baltimore City Schools #1 in America in Admin. costs says Project Baltimore

Project Baltimore: Text Message Instructs City Teachers to Change Grades

Now the Governor of Maryland responds to the grade manipulation scandal in Baltimore

As Project Baltimore’s evidence builds, City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises finally responds on allegations of grade rigging...

Per Project Baltimore,

In the memo, Dr. Santelises says grade changing does a “deep disservice to our students.”


She then outlined corrective steps the District has taken. In addition to launching internal investigations into two city schools, the central grading system is being analyzed, school leaders were issued grading guidelines and mandatory training has been ordered for those who input grades. Santelises concludes by calling our investigations “disheartening”.


She ends on a positive note saying, “I know that every day there are countless positive stories of learning, leadership, and professionalism unfolding in our schools.”

Full Memo:

Dear Colleagues,


As we finalize first-quarter progress reports for distribution to students and families, many of you are no doubt concerned by recent news reports alleging widespread grade-changing in past reporting periods. I am concerned, too, and I want you to know that we are taking the reports very seriously. In August, we began an analysis of grade data held in our central systems. We have also provided school leaders with detailed guidance on required practices and processes regarding grade-changing and have instituted mandatory training for grade reporters.


Our responsibility to uphold the highest standards of professional integrity includes ensuring the accuracy of reporting on student achievement. Anything less undermines our professionalism and, more important, does a deep disservice to our students. Of course, there are legitimate reasons for changing grades—inadvertent omission of a grade on an assignment, late submission of make-up work, simple typographical errors that need to be corrected. But it is imperative that teachers take the utmost care in entering grades, and that all staff involved in grade reporting follow established procedures for reviewing and finalizing grades.


If you have questions about grading policies, please speak with your school leader or contact the Academics Office at 410-396-8810. I also encourage any staff member with knowledge or suspicion of improper or unethical behavior to report it, so that it can be investigated appropriately. Reports, which can be anonymous, can be submitted online or by calling 1-800-679-0185.


Both the seriousness of this issue and the sensational tone of the news reporting about it are disheartening. But I know that every day there are countless positive stories of learning, leadership, and professionalism unfolding in our schools.


I encourage you to keep those stories in mind and to share them with your colleagues, school communities, and social networks as a daily reminder of the important work that City Schools students, teachers, and staff are accomplishing together.


Sincerely, Sonja Brookins Santelises. Chief Executive Officer



BunkerZee Sat, 10/28/2017 - 17:50 Permalink

If the kid drops out of school due to failing out - Guess what? The schools miss out on the several thousand $$$ every year per student. There's motive right there - all about their greed.

toady espirit Sat, 10/28/2017 - 18:03 Permalink

Our school district keeps telling kids Ds (60%) is good, it's what they should aspire to.... it pisses me off no end that I need to continually convince them that Ds aren't good, only to have them show up all pround of their Ds... "The teacher said that was good!"

In reply to by espirit

merizobeach Creepy_Azz_Crackaah Sun, 10/29/2017 - 06:35 Permalink

"Yea, gubmint "education," and gubmint unions.  WINNING! (sigh...)"The problem, friend, goes much deeper than that, and this is news only in the sense that it is finally being reported.As evidence: a little over twenty years ago, I graduated from a prestigious private school in Spokane, WA, where there was the unwritten policy that no grades lower than a C- were to be given.  This was to protect the school's reputation for academic excellence, maintain the school's high cumulative GPA, justify their exhorbitant tuition, and get the graduates sent off to Ivy League and other top-tier colleges.  Students whose grades needed too much 'rounding up' would be asked not to return for the next year, but there was never a case of failing to pass a course.  Of course, as students knowing this, by the time we reached senior year, it meant that graduation was assured without having to lift a finger.

In reply to by Creepy_Azz_Crackaah

Mazzy American Psycho Sat, 10/28/2017 - 18:15 Permalink

That's the whole of the scam, the nuts and bolts of it all right there.Next time you hear teachers complain about money remind them that almost all of them earn approximately 20-60% above and beyond the median income for their local area PLUS endless medical benefits PLUS pensions guaranteed, PLUS they get it all for the equivalent of 9 months of "work" per year at about 5.5 hours per work day.

In reply to by American Psycho

Philanthropocalypse Mazzy Sun, 10/29/2017 - 03:41 Permalink

You, and the 26 up voters, when I found your screed, are idiots.Please tell me about your personal experience with teaching in public schools.I fully believe there are problems with school funding, but to blame the teachers, wholesale, is to be an ignoramous.Plenty of other greedy hands sign the laws, the codes, the rules, the by-laws... get my meaning?Your numbers, such as they are, are cast so braod and wide, that they have no meaning. "20-60%"-- and you're telling me I should trust that statistic?  Tell me some more damn lies, you carnival barker salesman!Nothing is endless, not least to include medical benefits. The're not Federal employees, you fuckwit!"9 months of "work"" -- you, and many around here (old cranks, mostly, and I know that's a truth!), couldn't do the job, and as a truck driver, I'll tell you that I've thought the same way before, but I know bus drivers in Seattle that will make more than the teachers in that city's public schools, this year, and in their respective retirements. And back to "work"-- in chinese tradition, therer were only three capital crimes: Patricide, Matricide, and "the killing of one-who-instructs".  Tell me how their "work" is not worth their pay?  Tell me you know about this 5.5 hours a day because you've done it.   ...?   Nope. I've seen a good teacher buy supplies (colored pencils, and white PVC piping) with her own pocketbook. I've seen the grading sessions (and participated in them (she opened her legs and got free labor, on top of all those benefits!) go on till 10:30, when roll-out was 6:00am.I'm sorry your school years were shit. (I wonder how much you actually committed yourself to learning, or to your school... bet your were a drop out?). Mine were fantastic, because I cared about my grades and my state-provided-but-I-wasn't-gonna-let-that-stop-me education, and because I had one. good. teacher. per year.I didn't need more than one. Amazing, isn't it?  Maybe the system could learn something from my story (like bring back multi-age classes. One teacher, through your school career.)You don't blame the soldiers for their losses, do you? I bet you blame the Generals. Pull your head out, and realize the problems are way above the teachers' heads, or pocketbooks, and that the system if fucked, six ways till sunday. But, don't blame all teachers. It's ignorant, and unbecoming of anyone who wants to be respected for their opinion.  

In reply to by Mazzy

Jack McGriff Philanthropocalypse Sun, 10/29/2017 - 07:07 Permalink

Dude, you are a truck driver not a scholar.  Yet, I sense a little nostalgia about your glory days of High School, you know, the best years of your life, which has totally gone downhill since then.  So you excelled in High School and got great grades because you "cared" about your education ... to become a truck driver.Dude, you are a truck driver, m'kay?  In case you're wondering, it doesn't take a lot of brains to be a truck driver.

In reply to by Philanthropocalypse

Philanthropocalypse Jack McGriff Sun, 10/29/2017 - 11:26 Permalink

Can you help me get my wholly original screenplay optioned in Hollywood?  How about my novels...?Driving pays the bills, supports my family, and is a physical challenge. My college career (much lower grades, as I saw no future in it!) left me with debts to be handled, as well.What's your profession, Jack, that has you free and perky enough to weigh in on the threads here?

In reply to by Jack McGriff

WorkingFool espirit Sun, 10/29/2017 - 13:02 Permalink

Define “greed”. It’s a word a Marxist uses whenever your best interest conflicts with theirs. It’s a word used to disparage and manipulate.

Let’s focus on the word theft for a change. Like the theft of tax dollars, the theft of a proper education, the theft of opportunity. Fuck these DemoRAT bastards.

In reply to by espirit

SoDamnMad BunkerZee Sun, 10/29/2017 - 03:43 Permalink

They round up kids like cattle and stick the really bad ones in a room to just FO and not disrupt other classes. Then around 2:00 after they have collected the daily funding from the government they let them loose. These kids damage the facilities, fight with other kids on campus, threaten the staff and disrupt the teaching process all for the $$$.

In reply to by BunkerZee

NoPension Stan522 Sun, 10/29/2017 - 08:06 Permalink

I guess you are resounding to me?
I didn't downvote you, the peanut gallery did.

I'm still chuckling and trying to understand how you perceive my statements as " from a Lib " .

Let's try this again. Obviously you are a product of public education......

.....the kids ( almost 100% are black ) are shuffled and scooted through the school system. They get diplomas, and can't read or do basics math.
Then the cycle starts over at the college level. They get diplomas, and still can barely read or do basic math.
Degree in hand....they are then given preferential hiring treatment by the government...and end up as teachers, bureaucrats, administrators and government employees.

The cycle starts over...only it's a notch or two lower. ( if possible)

We are near the glaring obvious, hard to keep ignoring...end of the cycle.
The teachers are as fucking dim as the students ( teachers, students..haha. I'm an Astonaunt and former tail gunner on the space shuttle, too!)
And government bureaucracies are dark, feminine...and fucking useless.

And I'm a lib.

In reply to by Stan522

mrtoad Sat, 10/28/2017 - 17:55 Permalink

The University in Australia i attended did a similar thing to first years. Though they failed students who should have passed. The tutor we had was appalled that the dean of her faculty did this and left instantly. Nothing changed as far as I remember.

land_of_the_few mrtoad Sat, 10/28/2017 - 18:21 Permalink

Was it personal.prejudice against individual students, or a scheme to get more years of cash by hoping to get them to try a second go at first year, maybe in a different subject?Would not surprise at all that this was endemic in the West. Some institutions pass failed students through just because they were playing sports for the university teams.

In reply to by mrtoad

gregga777 Sat, 10/28/2017 - 18:01 Permalink

The Baltimore City Schools have defrauded the Federal government by accepting Federsl funding in a fraudulent public education scheme. The only reason that the Baltimore Schools fraudulently passed students and gave them graduation diplomas was to keep the Federal and Maryland State funding flowing. This is a massive scandal that needs investigation by competent Federal authorities, assuming that there is such a thing as a competent Federal authority in anything.

Lucretius gregga777 Sun, 10/29/2017 - 10:43 Permalink

Nailed it Greg! Fraud indeed, just like EVERY other manifestation of .gov. Ignorant and illerate, just intelligent enough to use an ebt card, all by grand design. Once all the blue colar jobs were off shored, their fates were sealed ... to be ghetto rats. With no hope of rising out of .gov created poverty through education, gee, I wonder why kids hook up with gangs and drugs. Gov mandated indoctrination/education is by design destructive to the intellect and self esteem of children. I'm just happy that my children are adults, and smart enough to have not yet made me a grandparent." competent Federal authorities" That is one huge assed assumption, I feel you know what the odds are on that!Peace, L.

In reply to by gregga777

ZeroPoint Sat, 10/28/2017 - 18:03 Permalink

Even if the school system wasn't corrupted and incompetent itself, it's impossible to educate dindus. You can bring an IQ up a few basis points assuming you have the right environmental conditions, but when the average IQ is 70, it's not going to work.Koko the gorilla has an IQ estimated to be somewhere between 70 and 95, making her more intelligent, peaceful, and better smelling than any given dindu.