Mother Slams City Schools for Passing Daughter

Mother Slams City Schools for Passing Daughter

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - A mother is slamming Baltimore City Public Schools for pushing her daughter to the next grade, even after she had failing grades.

Shenieka Saunders has three daughters and one priority.

“Education is very important to me,” Saunders told Project Baltimore.

Last June, when Saunders learned her middle daughter had some failing grades at Reginald F. Lewis High School, she quickly scheduled a meeting with her daughter and the school.

“I had reports in my presence at the meeting,” remembered an upset Sauders. “I was waiving it around at my daughter yelling at her. You failed!”

Saunders tells Project Baltimore she asked, during that meeting, for her daughter to be held back – kept in ninth grade - to learn the material. But when report cards went out, this mother couldn’t believe what she saw.

“She passed every class,” exclaimed Saunders. “She failed her exams. I was angry. I say, this is some crap. This is some crap.”

Saunders’ daughter’s report card shows, in English I, for example, she got an A- in the first quarter. But for the rest of the year, she got four Fs and one D-. It is noted on the report card, she didn’t even submit her final writing project. Yet, her year-end grade was recorded as a 61. She passed with a D-.

“Your grades represent your level of knowledge. If you fail, that means you don’t have the appropriate knowledge you need to be successful,” said Saunders. “I wanted her to repeat the subjects that she failed.” But her daughter moved onto English II.

Project Baltimore reached out to Reginald F. Lewis’ Principal, Janine Patterson, to ask her about this mother’s concerns. On the phone, Ms. Patterson said she would look into the matter and answer our questions. But follow up emails and phone calls were not returned.

Reginald F. Lewis is a school that struggles. Of the nearly 600 students enrolled, not one of them, according to 2017 state testing data, scored proficient in English. Only 2 percent of students were proficient in math.

“My child is smart, by far. She’s not dumb, by far. But, if she made poor decisions, then she needs to be held accountable for that. And the school needs to be sure the children understand that,” concluded Patterson.

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