Baltimore HS Student Only Passes 3 Classes in 4 Years, Ranks Near Top Half of His Class
March 8, 2021
BALTIMORE, Maryland—Back in early 2019, federal officials investigated the county school district alleging officials discriminated against Asian-American students while seeking greater racial balance in two sought-after magnet programs, reported the Baltimore Sun.
They say the number of Asian American students invited into the programs fell 23 percent from 2016 to 2017, amid a wave of attention to diversity issues, and then dropped by 20 percent the next year after a new screening and selection process took effect, according to the Baltimore Sun.
“They have come up with an admissions process that has drastically reduced the chances that an Asian American student will be admitted,” said Siva Anantham, a father of three from Bethesda who submitted a 26-page request asking for federal action on behalf of Asian American families across the school system.
District officials argued the top-half of students—regardless if they pass the entrance exam—should be able to enter these magnet schools.
How good are the top-half of students in the Baltimore public school system? Tiffany France’s 17-year-old son failed all but three classes over four years and almost graduated near the top half of his class with a 0.13 GPA, according to Fox New Baltimore.
She just found out her son has been moved back to ninth grade, regardless of being positioned at the top half of his class.
“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,” France told Project Baltimore. “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,” she stated to Fox News Baltimore.
France’s son attends Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts in west Baltimore. His transcripts show he’s passed just three classes in four years, earning 2.5 credits, placing him in ninth grade. But France says she didn’t know that until February. She has three children and works three jobs. She thought her oldest son was doing well because even though he failed most of his classes, he was being promoted. His transcripts show he failed Spanish I and Algebra I but was promoted to Spanish II and Algebra II. He also failed English II but was passed on to English III.
“I’m just assuming that if you are passing, that you have the proper things to go to the next grade and the right grades, you have the right credits,” said France.
As reporters dug deeper into her son’s records, they discovered in his first three years at Augusta Fells, he failed 22 classes and was late or absent 272 days. But in those three years, only one teacher requested a parent conference, which France says never happened. No one from the school told France her son was failing and not going to class, reported Fox News Baltimore.
“I feel like they never gave my son an opportunity, like if there was an issue with him, not advancing or not progressing, that they should have contacted me first, three years ago,” said France.
School officials did apologize to Tiffany France and currently investigating where the system failed her son. On the bright side, her son is still positioned at the top half of his class, even though he needs to restart from ninth grade.
France has pulled her son out of Augusta Fells. He’s now enrolled in an accelerated school program at Francis M. Wood in west Baltimore. If her son works hard, he could graduate by 2023.