77% of students at Baltimore high school reading at elementary levels, teacher says

Washington Examiner – by Jeremiah Poff

Over three-quarters of a Baltimore high school’s students are reading at an elementary level, a teacher at the school says.

The last available edition of the Nation’s Report Card, released in 2019 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, showed that only 37% of grade 12 students could be considered proficient readers, according to the Department of Education’s standard.

Now, a teacher at Patterson High School in Baltimore has informed a local news outlet that 77% of students there were reading at an elementary or even kindergarten level, indicating that the nation may see a precipitous drop in the reports for 2020 and 2021.

“They’re pushed through [grade levels],” the teacher told WBBF. “They’re not ready for the workforce. They’re not ready for further education.”

WBBF obtained the results of the school’s i-Ready learning assessment, which confirmed the teacher’s claim. Out of 628 students tested, 484 showed a reading level proficiency equal to that of an elementary school student, including 159 who were at a kindergarten or first grade level.

Data from student assessments in several states have shown that pandemic-related school closures likely contributed to a decline in student achievement.

A Texas Education Agency assessment for spring 2021 found that 36% of students in fourth grade met grade-level reading standards, while 45% of eighth grade students met grade-level standards for reading. The agency said the numbers represented a decline from previous years.

“As a result of the learning disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of students not meeting grade level increased from 2019 across all subject areas and grade levels, with English I and English II being the only exceptions,” the agency said at the time.

Texas was one of several states where state officials resisted efforts to block schools from in-person learning.

Students in California fared no better. The number of students who were reading above grade standard declined from 26% in 2019 to 21% in 2021, while the percentage of students near grade standards increased from 43% to 56%.

Education experts warned about learning loss due to pandemic-related school closures. Healthcare experts in the United States have insisted that school is the safest place for students to be despite opposition from administrators and teachers unions.


One thought on “77% of students at Baltimore high school reading at elementary levels, teacher says

  1. No surprise to me. In the 90s, my father was an elementary public school teacher in the inner city of Buffalo, NY. He was forced by the principal and board members to pass many students who couldn’t even read or write. Probably only a handful of them actually learned anything and we’re good enough to pass. I remember when he was grading exams and asking him, “How come they don’t know the answer to this question? It’s so easy.” And I was only a grade level higher than his class at the time. My father just replied, “these aren’t normal kids. They have no support at home or even desire to learn and if they do bad, the parents blame the teachers rather than questioning their child. You can’t give them homework because they won’t do it and you can’t discipline them because their parents will yell at the teachers.”

    It got to the point where even the education system and materials brought by the school board just got too dumb down for him to teach. That’s why he retired early.

    He really enjoyed being a teacher for the previous 20 years before it all became very political. He hated when they were forced to teach Social Studies instead of History. He knew that was Communist rhetoric designed to destroy our history and education system. He even hated when I had to learn it and I went to a Catholic school at that time. He was big on teaching critical thinking skills to help the inner city kids survive and become something more, which of course went against the Commie education system.

    That was 30 years ago. Imagine now. It’s all a part of the dumbing down of America.

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