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13 Baltimore City High Schools, zero students proficient in math

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13 Baltimore City High Schools, Zero Students Proficient in Math

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - An alarming discovery coming out of City Schools. Project Baltimore analyzed 2017 state testing data and found one-third of High Schools in Baltimore, last year, had zero students proficient in math.

But that’s not all we found. In the midst of that troubling number, there are some bright spots.

Most mornings, at Baltimore Collegiate School for Boys, start the same way – with students chanting the school’s motto in the gym.

“There’s an urgency about the work we’re doing,” said Jack Pannell, the school’s founder.

That urgency was born out of need.

“Nine out of ten black boys in Baltimore City are not reading at grade level,” added Pannell.

That grim statistic, lead Pannell to open his north Baltimore school three years ago. As the name implies, in these halls, there are no girls.


“They tend to stay very focused on their studies,” he stated, with a smile.

The charter school also has no entrance exams. What it does have is a school day extended by one hour, a teaching staff that is 60 percent male and shorter class periods. All of it tailored to how boys learn.

“We designed this school to make a fundamental difference in the lives of mostly black and brown boys in the city,” said Pannell.

That design appears to be working. Since 2015, the number of Baltimore Collegiate’s boys who scored proficient in state math tests spiked by 60 percent. In 2016, nine percent of students were proficient. This year, 14.4 percent were proficient.

“No,” replied Pannell, when asked if he was happy with the results. “I mean, we can do better.”


But Project Baltimore discovered as this school’s making process, many other city schools seem to be going nowhere.

Project Baltimore analyzed 2017 state test scores released this fall. We paged through 16,000 lines of data and uncovered this: Of Baltimore City’s 39 High Schools, 13 had zero students proficient in math.

Digging further, we found another six high schools where one percent tested proficient. Add it up – in half the high schools in Baltimore City, 3804 students took the state test, 14 were proficient in math.

Zero students proficient in Math:

  • Achievement Academy
  • Carver Vocational-Technical High
  • Coppin Academy
  • Excel Acadamy @ Francis M. Wood High
  • Forest Park High
  • Frederick Douglass High
  • Independence School Local 1
  • Knowledge and Success Academy
  • New Era Academy
  • New Hope Academy
  • Northwestern High
  • Patterson High
  • The Reach! Partnership School
  • High Schools with 1% math proficiency:
  • Ben Franklin H.S. at Masonville Cove
  • ConneXions: Community Based Arts School
  • Digital Harbor High School
  • Edmondson-Westside High
  • Renaissance Academy
  • Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy

With these eye-opening results, Project Baltimore reached to North Avenue. But no one inside the building would sit down to answer our questions. Instead, we got a statement. Concerning our investigation, it read, “These results underscore the urgency of the work we are now pursuing. We must do more to meet the needs of all our students.”


That work, according to the statement, involves a new math curriculum started this year, enhanced teacher development and expanded partnerships to provide opportunities for students.

The statement concludes, “There is no simple answer that will close the achievement gap for Baltimore’s students. Though we all want to see results quickly, the work is hard and will take time.”

At Pannell’s school, results took just two years. With 440 students, his school is now at capacity. Another 300 are on the waiting list.

“We believe we can change the narrative. We believe we can change history. We believe we can change the status quo if we keep doing what we’re doing,” said Pannell.