Earlier this month, ‘Project Baltimore’, an investigative reporting initiative, which was launched in March 2017, by Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. uncovered a Baltimore City school with zero students proficient in math and the highest graduation rate in the area.
The school in focus is Northwood Appold Community Academy II, or NACA II, after teachers contacted Project Baltimore saying grades were being change so students can graduate. The school is located in East Baltimore City, Maryland where nearly 1/3 of African Americans have zero net wealth.
Earlier this week, Project Baltimore Lead Investigative Reporter Chris Papst attended a meeting between the School Board and residents from the community. In focus was city resident Kim Trueheart, who runs the Liberty Rec and Tech Center in Northwest Baltimore, sat before the board seeking concerns about the brewing scandal Project Baltimore uncovered.
Trueheart told the School Board,
“I’d like to throw out this question. How is the District accountable to the students? What does that look like? And we got a reporter here in the room, right, and he’s reporting on some stuff that just blows my mind,” she told the board.
…and of course Trueheart’s concerns went unanswered… She told Project Baltimore,
“It would have been nice. But our government is generally not responsive to citizens input.”
Per Project Baltimore:
Trueheart watched Monday night as Project Baltimore reported on this test obtained by Fox45. A teacher told us it was given to high school seniors at a Baltimore City School. The test, in part, asked 12th graders to draw a question mark and exclamation point.
“I didn’t understand the purpose of that test,” Trueheart told Project Baltimore.
“Why would you ask a high school student to sit down and draw an exclamation point?
Here is a copy of the original test….Test Result: 4 correct & 14 wrong.. You do the math
The racial wealth divide in Baltimore is not just in wealth, but in education and health. Per JPM,
In Baltimore, people of color are disproportionately affected by local and national trends in employment, income and involvement in the criminal justice system. For the African American community, which is over 60% of the Baltimore population, unemployment is at 14% compared to the White unemployment rate of 3.6% in 2015. There is also strong racial inequality in educational achievement, household income and asset ownership. Unfortunately, Baltimore’s racial inequality mirrors national inequality. These data further illustrate a troubling reality in America, there are millions of people, and particularly people of color, who are living without the means to save or build a basic safety net for financial emergencies, let alone build the wealth needed to lay the foundation for upward mobility
Only 13% of Black adults in Baltimore finish a Bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 51% of White adults:
continued per JPM,
In Baltimore, the relationship between wealth and educational and health outcomes is stark, and even more so when one overlays race. One measure is the number of adults without a high school diploma: among African Americans, the number is just over one in five (21.8%), compared to a little more than one in ten (12.8%) among Whites. This disparity widens in higher degree attainment, with only 13% of African Americans in Baltimore having a B.A. or higher, compared to 51% of Whites.
Educational Attainment… Don’t be shocked
What is even more shocking is the black business value in Baltimore at $40,000 verse white business value $800,000. Wow, what a gap considering the black population is more than 60% of the city.
The brewing scandal in the Baltimore School System of grade manipulation uncovered by Project Baltimore is part of a much larger topic called the racial wealth divide. Nevertheless, this has all occurred under 50-years of democratic controlled leadership and decades of deindustrialization. The city is absolutely shrinking with population hitting a 100-year low and a homicide rate doubled of Chicago’s.
We have to start somewhere and the first step in solving America’s deteriorating inner cities is simply talking about it. As a country, we are multiple generations away from fixing these structural issues that many ignore, because it will open too many can of worms. Strap in, it’s going to be a turbulent ride.