A West Baltimore high school senior has a 0.13 GPA while ranking 62 out of 120 students in his graduating class. The unnamed male student has only earned 2.5 credits in the entirety of his high school career and he’s been absent or tardy 359 days. Although his GPA is nearly a zero, there are 58 students in his class doing worse than he is. Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts plans on placing the student back in the 9th grade to try it all over again but almost seems pointless when one zooms out and looks at the entire failure of a picture.
Only two of the 434 students at Augusta Fells are proficient in reading and math. Proficiency, in the context of grade school education, isn’t a measure of excellence. Proficiency simply measures an “acceptable” skill level based upon benchmarks. To make it plain, proficiency just means that a person won’t necessarily be at a disadvantage when it comes to real-world application of basic skills they should have learned in school. The level of failure at Augusta Fells is perplexing, considering that they receive over $5 million per year in local tax payer funding and about $17,000 per student that probably comes from some federal funding.
The student featured in the main story about Augusta Fells that hit the news is set to be rolled all the way back to the 9th grade although he is currently a senior. There is no point in doing this because the school won’t improve by then and experts say that if a child is struggling with reading by the third grade, then they will always be behind.
What needs to happen here is a complete overhaul or closing of the school. If a middle-of-the-road student barely has a grade point average at all, the education at the school is simply not up to par. Another explanation could simply be the students themselves. Bad home lives and parents who don’t care play a large part. Most of these kids get dropped off in kindergarten and/or first grade without even knowing how to read or spell their own name, let alone other basic things like coloring within the lines or counting to ten.
The welfare state is propping all of this failure up as well. It simply would not be an option for kids to reject education if not for the safety net that Uncle Sam provides. There are many different places to lay the blame for the underperformance of the kids at Augusta Wells. Regardless of blame, something must be done. And if not, generations of failure will continue to be produced not only in West Baltimore, but in other areas like it all over the country.