Report shows thousands of grade and culture changes in city schools


A culture of fear and a shroud of secrecy – that’s what officials from the Office of the Inspector General for Education have said is happening in Baltimore City’s public schools. It surrounds demands to change thousands of grades from fail to pass The problem is so bad, the IGE office says people are so worried about talking to them that they’re asking the Maryland State Department of Education commission an independent performance audit of the school system to assess grading policies. | REPORT: Grade Change Report Cases (Read Here) Investigators said data provided to them by the district shows that between 2016 and 2020, 12,543 grades changed from failing to passing. The highest number, more than 10%, was at Patterson High School. According to the report, there are 160 different grading policies that give schools and administrators leeway. Baltimore City Public Schools said in a statement: “The report released by the Maryland Office of Inspector General (OIGE) is the end of a nearly three-year review of grade changes in our school system. City Schools has shared gigabytes of data, thousands of pages of documents and hours of interviews with OIGE to help the office better understand what happened more than three years ago, before many of our current seniors entered high school.” As the OIGE report acknowledged, Dr Sonja Santelises, CEO of City Schools, has launched a complete overhaul of our grading policy – Board Policy IKA – to ensure that our grading is fair, equitable and reflects faithfully the achievements of our students . As a result of this overhaul, the Board passed significant revisions in May 2019. breach of law or financial irregularities. The cited incidents occurred largely before the policy change in 2019 and did not illustrate the system-wide pressure to change ratings.” More importantly, the report made no specific recommendations other than further examination. Nonetheless, City Schools welcomes the option of contracting an external review of grade changes made during the 2022-23 school year to ensure that we maintain our path of continuous improvement. This will be the first school year after the main outbreak of the pandemic, offering current data in an almost normal school environment. disturbing to say the least, and parents and taxpayers deserve answers and accountability from the school system. We are carefully reviewing the report to determine next steps.”

A culture of fear and a shroud of secrecy — that’s what officials from the Office of the Inspector General for Education have said in Baltimore City Public Schools.

It surrounds claims of change with thousands of grades from fail to pass.

The problem is so serious that the IGE office said people are so worried about talking to them that they are asking the Maryland State Department of Education to commission an independent performance audit of the school system to evaluate rating policies.

| REPORT: Grade change report case (read here)

Investigators said data provided to them by the district shows that between 2016 and 2020, 12,543 grades went from failing to passing.

The highest number, over 10%, was at Patterson High School.

According to the report, there are 160 different grading policies that give schools and administrators leeway.

Baltimore City Public Schools said in a statement, “The report released by the Maryland Office of the Inspector General (OIGE) is a disconcerting end to a nearly three-year review of grade changes in our school system City Schools shared gigabytes of data, thousands of pages of documents and hours of interviews with OIGE to help the office better understand what happened more than three years ago, before good many of our current elders only go to high school.

“As the OIGE report acknowledged, Dr. Sonja Santelises, CEO of City Schools, has launched a complete overhaul of our grading policy – Board Policy IKA – to ensure that our grading is fair, equitable and accurately reflects the achievements of our students.As a result of this overhaul, the Board passed significant revisions in May 2019.

“Over 20 pages of the report, IOGE notes challenges in implementing changes to our policy, but it did not find any violations of law or financial irregularities. The incidents cited largely occurred before the policy change in 2019 and did not illustrate the whole system pressure to change class.

“Most importantly, the report made no specific recommendations other than further review. Nonetheless, the city’s schools welcome the opportunity to contract an external review of grade changes made over the course of the 2022-23 school year to ensure we maintain our path of continuous improvement. This will be the first school year after the main pandemic surge, offering current data in a near-normal school environment.”

Governor Larry Hogan’s office released a statement on the report: “The wrongdoings described in the Inspector General’s report are deeply troubling to say the least, and parents and taxpayers deserve answers and accountability from the school system. We are carefully reviewing the report to determine next steps.”

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