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Who's at fault? District responds to 6 city schools with zero proficiency

City leaders are speaking out after a Project Baltimore investigation found six city schools, where not one student is proficient in any state tests.

BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- City leaders are speaking out after a Project Baltimore investigation found six city schools, where not one student is proficient in any state tests.

So now, the question is, what should happen with those schools? Some say they should be closed or taken over by other schools that have proven success. But the District says it’s not that easy.

These are the city schools that a Project Baltimore investigation found do not have a single student proficient in any state testing:

  • Frederick Douglass High School
  • Achievement Academy
  • New Era Academy
  • Excel Academy
  • New Hope Academy
  • Booker T Washington Middle School


We took our questions to Janise Lane, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning for Baltimore City Schools.

Lane says there’s not one person at fault. “I wouldn’t say the school district is at fault,” she says. “I’m not saying we have no responsibility in that. I think it’s a lot of things coming together at the same time.”

Lane tells Project Baltimore those six schools are on their radar. They get extra resources, increased teacher and principal training and sharper focus on student need. It’s an approach she says can improve test scores.

“It is not satisfying for any of us in city schools to see the data and the numbers that look like that,” Lane says. “It’s an ongoing work effort to improve student achievement because that is our ultimate goal.”

Former City Council member Carl Stokes, now CEO of Banneker Blake Charter School, would take a different approach.

“It’s stunning. It really is. But it’s not surprising, unfortunately,” Stokes says. “The kids aren’t learning. They should evaluate the schools and decide if the school’s not working, then they must close that school. Put those young people in schools that are working.”

Successful schools, like Western and Poly or a charter like Empowerment Academy, Stokes says. If the school can’t be shut down, Stokes says replace the leadership and allow the school to be taken over by a more successful traditional or charter school.

“Do that and you will have more successful high schools in Baltimore City as well as middle schools,” Stokes says. “It makes sense.”

“It’s not that easy because every school has its own make-up in their community and how things work,” Lane says. “Our goal is not to shut schools down. Our goal is to support schools.”

Stokes went on to say, there is a regular evaluation of his charter school and if it’s not meeting expectation it can be shut down. He believes traditional schools should be treated the same way.

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