Delegate Demands Action After Seeing Project Baltimore Reports
BALTIMORE, Md. (WBFF) -- A State Delegate is demanding action after watching a series of recent Project Baltimore reports on alleged grade changing and standards inside one Baltimore City School.
Those reports sparked a City Schools internal investigation into that school, Northwood Appold Community Academy II, or NACA II.
Republican State Delegate Kathy Szeliga, of Baltimore and Harford Counties, is a former teacher. She says what Project Baltimore has reported about what’s allegedly happening inside City classrooms, should not be allowed to happen.
“There are not, clearly not adequate safeguards,” Szeliga says. “With the story that you all did showing a graduation test that is certainly not academically rigorous, then those kids are being failed year after year.”
Del. Szeliga watched as Project Baltimore first reported on this test, which a teacher says was given to Baltimore City Seniors at NACA II. The test, in part, asked seniors to draw a comma and question mark. The student who took this test, we’re told failed, but still graduated.
“Wow,” says Del. Szeliga. “As a parent in a Baltimore City Public School, they should be outraged that children are allowed to graduate, that I wouldn’t even call this literate.”
After seeing that Fox45 report, and others on educational standards inside City Schools, Del. Szeliga told Project Baltimore she will introduce legislation in January to conduct a full forensic audit of Baltimore City Schools.
“The kids deserve better,” she says.
At $16,000 per student per year, City Schools is the fourth most funded District in America, according to the U.S. Census. Eighty percent of that money comes from state taxpayers. And Szeliga says tests like this are not acceptable.
“These are things that need to be exposed. Lawmakers and taxpayers, you know, we need to know these things,” she says. “The city is allowing students to graduate without proper literacy skills, and if the city won’t step in and fix it, then I think the State of Maryland is going to have to come in and demand that we have better accountability.”
Project Baltimore will monitor the Maryland State House to report on any audit legislation introduced next year.
Despite regular emails and phone calls, it’s been weeks since Fox45 has heard from NACA II’s operator or principal. But in a statement from last month, attorneys for both denied any allegations of wrong doing.