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Baltimore parents sue city after student graduates high school not being able to read; shocking number of students have failing GPAs

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Ulysses Munoz/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Two parents in Baltimore, Maryland, have filed a lawsuit against their city and its school district in response to shocking reports about the progressive city's abject failure to educate children.

Earlier this year, local news outlet WBFF-TV highlighted the story of a woman who graduated from the Baltimore City Public Schools system without being able to read. The outlet also found a whopping 77% of high schoolers at one area high school were reading at an elementary level. Another report discovered that in the past year, 41% of BCPS high school students earned below a 1.0 grade point average.

"This is terrible," Jovani Patterson said at the time after hearing about the reports. "This is just further perpetuating a cycle of poverty, of despair."

Around that same time, Patterson and his wife Shawnda decided to take legal action against the local government. They felt like filing a lawsuit was the only way they could get the city's attention.

In a recent interview with the Daily Signal, the Pattersons said, "There’s really no other recourse a citizen in Baltimore could take. We don’t elect our school board, so there’s no way we could both be appointed members of the school board. There’s nothing that people can really do outside of a lawsuit to affect change or request access into the inner workings of what’s going on in Baltimore."

With the lawsuit, which is still in its early stages, the couple is accusing Baltimore city officials and BCPS of failing to educate area children — and in the meantime wasting massive amounts of taxpayer money.

"We’ve heard for decades about some of the failures to educate and things like social promotion, lack of resources," Jovani, who ran as a Republican for city council president in 2020 on a platform of accountability in education, added. "[Yet] year after year, time after time, all we hear is, 'Well, this is the way it’s always been. This is the way it’s always going to be.'"

His wife, Shawnda, has firsthand experience in the classroom. She worked as a public school teacher in Baltimore for almost a decade. She recalled how low standards and oversized classrooms led to educational failures.

"Most of the time, my class size was pushing 40 kids with no assistant. To effectively teach 40 children, that is a challenging task," she said, adding that teachers are not the ones at fault. Rather, "it’s just the way that the system is run."

Now, the couple hopes their lawsuit will serve as a message to the city and the school system that their management of the education system will no longer be tolerated.

"The idea is to raise expectations and have the school board assess if the city actually follows [its] own practices and rules. Being a good steward of finances, for example," Jovani told the Daily Signal. "We want to make sure the schools have some type of oversight within the schools [of] where the money goes, how well we’re performing."

Let's Take Baltimore Back - Jovani Patterson for City Council President 2020 www.youtube.com

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