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Baltimore public high school students earning below 1.0 GPA nearly doubled during pandemic

Written by on July 14, 2021

Nearly half, 41%, of all Baltimore high school students enrolled with the public school district earned below a 1.0 GPA during the first three quarters of the 2020-2021 school year, according to media reports – a statistic that administrators have attributed to a year that saw unprecedented disruptions to learning nationwide. 

A chart obtained by FOX affiliate WBFF-TV said nearly half of all 20,500 Baltimore City Public Schools students attending high school earned less than a D average. 

“Consistent with the experience of many school districts across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic created significant disruptions to student learning,” the district said in a statement to Fox News. “As early as the summer of 2020, City Schools identified large numbers of students with decreases in their grade point averages and classroom performance when compared to past performances.”

In a bit of good news, 21% of Baltimore high schools students earned a 3.0 GPA or a B average. 

During the second quarter of the 2019-20 school year – just before the coronavirus pandemic forced school shutdowns — 24% of the city’s high school students earned below a 1.0 GPA. 

Frederick Douglas High School in Baltimore. Nearly half of the high school students in Baltimore City Public Schools earned below a 1.0 GPA during the first three quarters of the school year. 

Frederick Douglas High School in Baltimore. Nearly half of the high school students in Baltimore City Public Schools earned below a 1.0 GPA during the first three quarters of the school year. 
(Baltimore City Public Schools )

Many schools transitioned to online instruction at the onset of COVID-19, introducing a number of challenges for students, faculty and parents. 

In the case of Baltimore, the district decided against holding students back for failing classes in favor of helping them to “recover the learning they lost,” a spokesman told Fox News. 

Beginning this summer, City Schools provided those students with opportunities to get up to speed. 

“Each student’s progress will be assessed, and an action plan will be developed to complete any unfinished learning. These plans will guide families and teachers in helping students get back on track,” the district said. 

Jovani Patterson, who ran for Baltimore City Council President last year on a platform of accountability in education, called the GPA data “terrible.”

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“This is terrible,” Patterson told the news outlet. “This is just further perpetuating a cycle of poverty, of despair.”

Fox News has reached out to Patterson and the Baltimore Teachers Union for comment but did not immediately hear back. 

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