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‘Absolute Tragedy’ Only 8% of Baltimore County 8th Graders Are Proficient In Math

Credit: Syda Productions/Shutterstock

A new Project Baltimore report revealed that only eight percent of Baltimore 8th graders tested as “proficient” in math, while 23 Baltimore City schools had zero students who had proficient scores in the subject.

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Nino Mangione, a Republican state delegate who represents Baltimore County, called the situation a “continued failure” and called for the school district’s superintendent to be removed.

“What we’ve seen is a continued failure,” Mangione told Project Baltimore. “In Baltimore City, the school superintendent has to go. I believe that she has failed in her duty.”

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National radio host Todd Starnes blamed Democrats.

“It’s a national embarrassment,” Starnes said on his 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. eastern radio show. “And parents are demanding change. It’s time to take power away from the unions and give it to moms and dads. School choice. It’s the only way to fix what is broken. It’s the only chance kids have to succeed in Baltimore. Once again – the radical policies of the Democrat Party just don’t add up.”

The delegate said the district receives billions of dollars and still fails its students. He blames the low scores on a focus on “social policy” that takes precedent over educating Baltimore students.

“We spend billions of dollars every year and still fail our children,” Mangione said on Twitter. “This is a result of a lack of competition, accountability, and a focus on social policy rather than educating our children.”

He added that the education bureaucracy will use the test results as an excuse to ask for more money which he called “wrong!”

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“The education establishment has focused on building a bureaucracy rather than educating children. The first words out of the education establishment’s mouth will be we need more money. Wrong!” Mangione wrote.

Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) released a statement to Project Baltimore after the news of the poor test scores broke.

“As we shared with all BCPS families, students and staff on Jan. 23, MCAP scores in both Baltimore County and across the state show that students are struggling to recover to pre-pandemic levels of performance. State data show nearly 200 schools across central Maryland that saw less than 5 percent of students passing the math MCAP in at least one grade, and as State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury stated, raising student performance will be a ‘long road to recovery’ not only in Maryland but in Baltimore County as well. While there is much work to be done, it is important to note there are only four schools in BCPS under state accountability standards– not seven– in which no students achieved proficiency. BCPS is working urgently to improve and accelerate student learning, and that work includes offering targeted tutoring supports, reviewing when and how teachers deliver material, and examining math curriculum for gaps and opportunities for acceleration. We are confident that as we take immediate and strategic steps to address these learning gaps, BCPS students will not only surpass state expectations but will also be equipped with the resources and knowledge they need to reach their fullest potential.”

Democratic Maryland state delegates Carl Jackson and Harry Bhandari think giving the school districts more money is the best way to solve the problem.

Project Baltimore reports these delegates support the Blueprint for Maryland’s future, also known as the Kirwan Plan. The outlet notes that this legislation would give an additional $30 billion into Maryland public schools over the next 10 years. The plan is partially focused on providing mental health and tutoring services for students, while also giving teachers higher pay.

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Mangione rejected the idea, saying that competition is the best thing for Maryland schools and students.

“I think it’s too big a bureaucracy in education,” Mangione told the outlet. “The teachers union has far too much power. I think this idea that money solves the problem is absolutely incorrect.”

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