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PROJECT BALTIMORE: Illiterate at 66

PROJECT BALTIMORE: Illiterate at 66 (WBFF)

BALTIMORE (WBFF)-- What is the real-life consequence when a school fails a child? Project Baltimore spoke to man who says in the 1960s Baltimore City Schools let him down and he never recovered.

The man reached out to Project Baltimore to share his story. But he didn’t want to share his name– he’s too embarrassed. He said he remembers the day he quit school. And since then, life has been real tough.

“That’s why I came forward,” he said, while getting emotional.

“I sit at my house and look at the stuff on TV today. It hurts.”

For a few months, this life-long city resident has watched as Project Baltimore reported on allegations of grade changing in City Schools and claims that students are being pushed through the system without earning it – without learning the material. FOX45 has shared the stories of parents and teachers who are upset.

In 1968, this man was a sophomore at what was Clifton Park High School. He says the same thing happened to him. And it ruined his life.

“I was wondering how I was passing. They kept moving me on. They were passing me when I shouldn’t have been passing.”

In sixth grade, at 11-years-old, he remembers falling behind, but the school kept promoting him. By 10th grade, he tells FOX45, he couldn’t do the work.

“I wasn’t learning like I should. It felt bad. I was teased a lot in school.”

At 16, he became so frustrated he dropped out. The next 50 years would be a struggle. He’s been homeless, shot at, spent time in jail and sold drugs.

“I’m sorry I ever did it,” he lamented. “But it was a way of supporting myself at the time.”

You see, he always had a hard time supporting himself because he’s always had a hard time getting work. Before this man dropped out of school, there was one thing he never learned to do. This 66-year-old made it to 10th grade in Baltimore City Schools, and he can’t read.

“When people know you can’t read, they take advantage of you,” he stated.

“They are hurting the kids more than they are helping them by pushing them along through the school.”

“It happened to me, and look what it has done to my life. I don’t want children today to go through what I went through. No child should go through what I went through,” he concluded. “It needs to change real bad.”

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