By Tashi McQueen,
AFRO Political Writer,
Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) representatives are responding to outrage over the disclosure that 23 City Schools have zero students deemed proficient in mathematics.
The Statewide Spring 2022 Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) testing results show that while City Schools students returned to “pre-pandemic levels of proficiency” in English Language Arts (ELA), they struggled in math.
In a statement released by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), it was disclosed that “math proficiency percentages for grades three through eight decreased from 33 percent in 2018-2019 to 22 percent in 2021-2022.”
André Riley, executive director of communications for City Schools, responded to the findings.
“When we saw these scores, we knew students struggled during the pandemic just like other school districts,” said Riley. “These results are from students starting school below grade level and a global pandemic. We have to find the best way to catch them up.”
“Those 23 schools do not begin to describe the situation,” Riley continued. “We have a solid plan and we’re making sure we work with our parents so that they understand these test results.”
The impacted schools include:
Achievement Academy at Harbor City High
Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts
Baltimore International Academy West
Baltimore School for the Arts
City Neighbors High School
Collington Square Elementary/Middle
Coppin Academy High School
Dallas F. Nicholas, Sr., Elementary
Dorothy I. Height Elementary
Excel Academy at Francis M. Wood High
Forest Park High School
Independence School Local I
Johnston Square Elementary
New Era Academy
Park Heights Academy Elementary School
Steuart Hill Academic Academy
The Historic Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary
The Reach! Partnership School
Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy
Sen. Antonio Hayes (D-MD-40) weighed in on the results disclosed in the report.
“This news gives me great concern,” Sen. Antonio Hayes (D-MD-40) told the AFRO. “We, as a state, have invested tremendous resources into Baltimore City schools and public education. I will reach out to the Baltimore City School Board to find out this report’s status and how we can better address students and their needs.”
“We have some of the greatest educational institutions in Baltimore City, such as Coppin State University,” said Hayes. “There’s room for partnerships between the school system and higher education institutions to look at how we can reach out to the urban population of children.”
According to the report, only seven percent of Baltimore City students were ranked “proficient” in math. Around the state of Maryland, the highest proficiency rate for mathematics in any county was 38 percent.
Riley said the MCAP tests 14 categories and within half of those categories, City Schools’ rate of improvement was better than the state’s. About 64 percent of City Schools students scored proficiency in ELA.
“We may be of the lowest ranking in the state for math, but we’re closing the gap,” said Riley.