Posted on December 22, 2021

Majority of Freshmen Tested at Baltimore City School Read at Elementary Level

Chris Papst, WBFF, December 20, 2021

An alarming discovery coming out of a Baltimore City High School caught up in a scandal. Project Baltimore has obtained student assessment data from Augusta Fells Savage in west Baltimore, showing just how far behind some students are in that school.

In June, Project Baltimore filed a public records request with City Schools, asking for iReady student assessment scores at Augusta Fells.


{snip} We filed this request to see just how far behind students were at Augusta Fells. A few weeks ago, we got the results.

“No, not at all. They don’t surprise me. That’s about what I would expect,” said a former City Schools teacher, when asked if the results were surprising.


The former Baltimore City teacher told us she had 28 students in her eighth-grade class.

“I would say around half of them couldn’t read to the point where they could fully understand what they were supposed to be doing,” said the teacher.


Much of the data is not provided. If fewer than 10 students test into any grade level, City Schools denotes that with an asterisk. The school system says that’s done to protect student privacy.

The data we received is from before the COVID shutdowns. During the 2018-2019 school year, 48 Augusta Fells juniors took the reading test, 11 tested at a third-grade reading level. In that same year, out of 54 tenth graders tested, 27 were reading at a third or fourth-grade level. We don’t know where the other half tested. City Schools won’t release the data. Fifty-five freshman took the reading test during the 2017-2018 school year, and well over half, at least 39, were reading at elementary school levels. It could be more, but again, we don’t know how many tested in first and second grade because City Schools won’t provide the data.


Project Baltimore asked the former teacher what she believes is the solution to the problem. Her answer echoed what we’ve heard from many other teachers. She said student behavior and discipline need to be addressed. She said oftentimes she couldn’t teach, because she was constantly dealing with fights, and other disruptive behavior that she said school administrators did not address.