A Baltimore high school senior allegedly was surprised to find out he won’t be graduating this year — in fact, he’ll be heading back to ninth grade.
That’s because his current grade point average is a 0.13. He passed three classes during his four years of high school. Tiffany France, the student’s mother, was shocked about the situation too.
According to FOX-45, Ms. France said she believed her son “was doing well” at Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts because, despite his high class failure rate, he continued to be promoted.
“I’m just assuming that if you are passing, that you have the proper things to go to the next grade and the right grades, you have the right credits,” France said.
France said she found out only last month about her son returning to 9th grade. And, incredibly, even with that GPA, her son ranks in the upper half of his class academically.
In a statement, Baltimore City Public Schools told FOX-45 that “students received a letter about their academic status this past summer,” and student grades and other records “can be accessed through the [online] campus portal.” Absent students (France’s son was “late or absent” a total of 272 days over his HS career) generate an automatic phone call home.
The district also said Augusta Fells conducted “recent home visits” and that Ms. France “visited the school.” France claims none of this happened.
The group Project Baltimore spoke with a district administrator (who wished to be anonymous) about the situation, and he said the district and school “absolutely failed” France’s son. “I would hug [Ms. France], and I would apologize profusely.”
“I get angry. There’s nothing but frustration. We see on the news the crime that occurs, the murders, the shootings, we know that there are high levels of poverty in Baltimore. Things like this are adding to that. His transcript is not unusual to me. I’ve seen many transcripts, many report cards, like this particular student,” said the City Schools administrator. …
What the [district] statement does not address, is why France’s son was promoted despite failing classes. It doesn’t discuss his class rank, or the 58 other students with a GPA of 0.13 or lower. But it does say [the district] is “reviewing actions that impacted student outcomes” at the school prior to this year.
“It took a lot for me to just build the courage to do this,” France told Project Baltimore. …
“He feels embarrassed, he feels like a failure,” France said of her son. “I’m like, you can’t feel like that. And you have to be strong and you got to keep fighting. Life is about fighting. Things happen, but you got to keep fighting.
France’s son is now enrolled in an “accelerated” program at the alternative Francis M. Wood High School which features an “intensive social-emotional learning site.”
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