Alarming number of Baltimore high schools had zero students proficient in math, study shows

Alarming number of Baltimore high schools had zero students proficient in math, study shows
Bad news for Baltimore schools: a new project reveals an alarming number of schools had no students proficient in math. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

A new project that analyzed 2017 state testing data found that one-third of Baltimore, Maryland, high schools have zero students proficient in math.

What are the numbers?

Project Baltimore found that 13 out of 39 high schools in the city had zero students that were proficient in math, according to the testing data. Another six schools only had 1 percent of their student body who tested proficient in math.

In plain numbers, in half the high schools in Baltimore, out of the 3,804 students who took the state test, a mere 14 were proficient in math.

What’s worse, in 2016, six Baltimore schools had zero students test proficient in any state test, which included math and English.

What’s the solution?

City officials made the switch to a new math curriculum this year and developed enhanced teacher trainings, but the district acknowledged in a statement there would need to be more steps taken in order to achieve satisfactory results.

“There is no simple answer that will close the achievement gap for Baltimore’s students. Though we all want to see results quickly, the work is hard and will take time,” the Baltimore City Public Schools District statement said.

Is there an alternative?

Jack Pannell, founder of a Baltimore charter school for boys, believes his three-year-old school is on the path to success. With no entrance exam, shorter class periods, and 60 percent male teachers, the school is specifically tailored to how boys learn.

Pannell has seen math proficiency spike 60 percent since 2015, when the school opened its doors. There are 440 students currently enrolled and another 300 on the waiting list.

“We believe we can change the narrative. We believe we can change history. We believe we can change the status quo if we keep doing what we’re doing,” Pannell said.

 

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