Posted on February 10, 2022

77% Tested at Baltimore High School Read at Elementary Level, Some at Kindergarten Level

Chris Papst, WBFF, January 31, 2022

A Baltimore City teacher came forward with devastating information that showed 77% of students tested at one high school are reading at an elementary school level.

The teacher works at Patterson High School, one of the largest high schools in Baltimore with a 61% graduation rate and a nearly $12 million budget. {snip}


iReady assessments are given in Baltimore City Schools to help determine at which grade level a student is performing in math and reading. The scores are not made public. If the media requests them, the district will redact most of the results. But Project Baltimore obtained the results for all of the students tested at Patterson High School.

In reading, 628 Patterson High School students took the test. Out of those students, 484 of them, or 77%, tested at an elementary school reading level. That includes 71 high school students who were reading at a kindergarten level and 88 students reading at a first-grade level. Another 45 are reading at a second-grade level. Just 12 students tested at Patterson High School, were reading at grade level, which comes out to just 1.9%.

Project Baltimore asked how a student who reads at an elementary school level could reach high school.

“They’re pushed through,” replied the teacher. “They’re not ready for the workforce. They’re not ready for further education.”

When asked if it’s social promotion, the teacher replied, “Yes.”

Baltimore City Schools has a “one fail” policy, which states, “students cannot be retained a second time prior to ninth grade.” That means students go to the next grade no matter how little work is completed. North Avenue has pointed to studies showing students learn better with grade-level peers saying, “multiple retentions should be a last resort for students.”