Baltimore Mayor Responds To Troubling Citywide Standardized Math Test Scores

Baltimore City Public Schools student demonstrates division on a projector screen. Screenshot via @baltcityschools on Instagram.

What’s happening?

Only 7% of Maryland students between the third and eighth grade are proficient in math, according to state standardized test scores released by the Department of Education last month, Ken Duffy reports for WBAL. Zero students out of about two dozen schools in Baltimore City tested as proficient in math. 

Why did Baltimore students perform so poorly?

When asked about the standardized test results at an event in East Baltimore on Tuesday, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, in part, attributed the low scores to disruptions caused by the covid-19 pandemic. Scott also said that while there are necessary improvements required for the city school system, other social and economic factors likely impacted students’ ability to learn. 

“There’s a lot of work to be done in city schools and they know that. But that work is just not on city schools alone, that’s on all of us to do that for our young people,” Scott said. “Everybody that says they care about young people in the city of Baltimore should be stepping up to help.”

Since the start of the pandemic, Baltimore City Public Schools has implemented some programs and strategies to address subjects with low proficiency, including daily small-group math learning time and expanded professional development for teachers with a focus on math, according to a press release.

Anything else I should know? 

Scott also said that the city’s poor performance in math proficiency is only one part of the overall education system and pointed to the city’s achievement in closing the gap between the state and city students’ performance in seven of 14 tested grades and subjects. 

You can read more here.

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