Usually, my post headline isn’t the same as the article headline, but in this case it very nearly is.
After another State of the Union address which promised more education spending, behold what you get for a $1.6 billion budget with $21,000 in per student spending.
The Maryland State Department of Education recently released the 2022 state test results known as MCAP, Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program.
Baltimore City’s math scores were the lowest in the state. Just 7% of third through eighth graders tested proficient in math, which means 93% could not do math at grade level.
But that’s not all. WBFF combed through the scores at all 150 City Schools where the state math test was given. In 23 Baltimore City schools, there were zero students who tested proficient in math.
Among the list of 23 schools, there are 10 high schools, eight elementary schools, three middle/high schools and two elementary/middle schools.
Exactly 2,000 students, in total, took the state math test at these schools. Not one could do math at grade level.
It’s also important to note that another 20 Baltimore City Schools had just one or two students test proficient in math.
I blame systemic racism.
Governor Wes Moore is black, Mayor Brandon Scott is black, as are 10 out of 14 city council members, as is “Dr.” Sonja Santelises who heads the school system, but if the black Memphis cops can be evidence of systemic racism, why not?
The answer is always to spend more money. Here’s what Baltimore is spending.
Baltimore City Schools will be spending about $21,000 per student this year, thanks to a massive education funding increase. Maryland lawmakers passed the bill, known as Kirwan, two years ago. Now that funding is kicking in, the question is whether more taxpayer money will result in better student outcomes.
For this coming school year, City Schools’ budget has ballooned to $1,620,788,542. That’s nearly $230 million more than the previous year’s budget of $1,393,777,695. It amounts to about a 16 percent increase. Enrollment in City Schools is going down and has been for years. So, that’s a lot more money for fewer students.
And worse results, but maybe if we spend $1.6 billion per student, he’ll finally be able to get a passing grade.
“We’re not living up to our potential,” said Jovani Patterson, a Baltimore resident who made headlines in Jan. 2022, when he filed a lawsuit against Baltimore City Schools. The suit claims the district is failing to educate students and, in the process, misusing taxpayer funds. “We, the taxpayer, are funding our own demise,” Patterson said at the time.
Well, yeah. Isn’t that the whole purpose of postmodern government?
“My immediate reaction is, take your kids out of these schools,” said Patterson.
Sure, we could actually create alternatives to a failed public school system that exists only to provide employment for Democrat activists and their union does by legalizing vouchers and we could deal with the fact that no amount of education is going to magically compensate for broken families and cultures. But let’s blame systemic racism instead and get rid of grades and standards as the educational-industrial complex is busy doing.
Gov. Moore’s office did not respond, but City Schools did send WBFF a statement with steps it’s taking to improve math scores, including professional development for teachers, summer learning and an extended learning period at the end of the day.
The statement said, in part, “We’re confident these instructional strategies will help us regain the momentum and progress we experienced before the pandemic.”
Those are solutions for below-average grades. They’re not the answer to schools that have completely failed. Moore is likely smart enough to know that’s nonsense and so does any serious educator. They’re just keeping the scam going.
And it is a scam.