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Did a High School in Baltimore Change Grades so Children can Graduate

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Project Baltimore, a part of Fox45, compared report cards of several students that were failing over a dozen classes to report cards printed a few weeks later that were changed to the lowest passing score. Providing evidence that the students' grades had been changed, allowing them to pass.

Origin and Prevalence

This question originated at Fox45 News, when their group, Project Baltimore, reported on two sets of report cards from thirteen students at Calverton Elementary/Middle School. In the first set, these thirteen students were failing eighteen classes. However, in the second set, printed several weeks afterward, all of the failing grades had been changed to the lowest possible passing grade of 60%. This has to do with a district policy where grades 58% or 59% are rounded up to 60% in order to make them passing. An administrator told Fox45 that 70% of Baltimore City middle and high schools have rounded up student grades to passing in order to make their schools look better. This has also been done in other school districts in Baltimore such as Prince George's County.

Issues and Analysis

This question originated after Project Baltimore reported on a change in student report cards. An informant from the school told Fox45, the people behind Project Baltimore, that around 70% of middle and high schools in Baltimore changed student grades to passing. This practice is done in order to show improvement in grades at the school so that administrators such as the principal may maintain their paycheck.

Another school in the Baltimore area, Northwood Appold Community Academy II (NACA II), was also investigated by Project Baltimore for grade changes. Fox45 spoke to several teachers who reported that students' grades were being changed to passing, allowing them to graduate even though they did not have the knowledge they would need to get a job. There have also been reports about Baltimore schools changing grades in the past back in 2013 both by CBS Baltimore and The Baltimore Sun. In the end, this question proves to be true. Currently, there are court proceedings occurring involving a public records lawsuit by Fox45 in order for Fox45 to receive the un-redacted report of Baltimore City Public Schools internal investigation of grade changes at NACA II. So, this story is still going on, but the grade changes from failing to passing is still correct.

Fox45 proves to be a reliable source on this topic as the group is a local news group for the Baltimore area. It was also their own team, Project Baltimore, which started the investigation into the topic of student grade changes in Baltimore City Public Schools.

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The Digital Polarization Initiative is a student-run project which allows university students to investigate questions of truth and authority on the web and publish their results. Learn more, or see our index. Photo credits here. DigiPo members can edit this page.