July 28, 2019
By Kyle Olson
It’s not new that Baltimore is a mess. It’s just that President Trump is now saying it and his haters are trying to turn it into a race issue.
But the fact is, the city’s schools have been infested with corruption for years, and kids — and taxpayers — are the victims while incompetent employees are laughing all the way to the bank.
Baltimore schools are failing students on serious scale, and it’s not for lack of spending on high-priced administrators and other school employees.
Not a single student in five of the city’s high schools and one middle school tested up to state standards in English and math, an astonishingly embarrassing statistic that’s infuriating some parents, Fox Baltimore reports.
“That’s absurd to me,” Janel Nelson, mother of Frederick Douglass High School senior Navon Warren, told the news station. “That’s your teacher’s report card, ultimately.”
Based on Warren’s analogy, teachers at five schools received a zero on the latest round of standardized testing: Booker T. Washington Middle School, Douglass High School, Achievement Academy at Harbor City, New Era Academy, Excel Academy at Francis M. Wood High School, and New Hope Academy.
“High school students are tested by the state in math and English,” according to Fox Baltimore. “Their scores place them in one of five categories – a four or five is considered proficient and one through three are not. At Frederick Douglass, 185 students took the state math test last year and 89 percent fell into the lowest level. Just one student approached expectations and scored a three.”
Is this acceptable to Rep. Elijah Cummings? Or is it only unacceptable because President Trump is saying it?
Or how about this? Some genius in the school system thought it was a good idea to hire Black Lives Matter agitator Deray Mckesson as the district’s “chief human capital officer.”
Baltimore city schools CEO Sonja Santelises hired Mckesson as an interim chief human capital officer last year, prompting criticism from some and praise from others. Mckesson previously worked as a school administrator in Minneapolis schools before leaving the profession to protest against alleged police brutality against blacks in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, according to the Baltimore Sun.
He also ran unsuccessfully for the mayor of Baltimore last year, coming in sixth in the Democratic primary. The Baltimore native is popular on Twitter with about 856,000 followers, and his focus on police brutality and racial tensions have made him the darling of liberal elites like President Obama and Hillary Clinton, “who dubbed Mckesson a ‘social media emperor.’”
The 32-year-old initially made himself famous by chronicling Black Lives Matter protests on social media and he continued that work while employed in the $165,000-a-year position in Baltimore schools. Shortly after taking the job, Mckesson was arrested at a protest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and was forced to defend his actions to the school board.
When he resigned, he called his one year with the district “incredible”.
Or this: Instead of teaching kids how to read and compute, the district powers-that-be thought they would soothe the kids’ angst with miniature horses.
From the same year:
Baltimore City Public Schools’ board of commissioners approved a new policy Tuesday to allow the use of service animals, including both dogs and miniature horses.
The new policy, which covers the use of service animals in schools by students, staff and visitors, states that school officials must allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals into schools and other district facilities, but cannot inquire about the disability itself, the Baltimore Sun reports.
The board of commissioners defined permissible service animals as dogs, or miniature horses “under certain circumstances.” School officials must determine whether a “miniature horse’s presence in the specific facility compromises legitimate safety requirements that are necessary for safe operation,” the policy reads.
“According to the new policy, the special education office, along with the district’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Title IX Compliance, must ensure animals have a suitable rest place, can relieve themselves, and do not trigger allergic reactions,” the Sun reports.
And what did the district superintendent get for all of this silliness? A 4 percent raise.
A financial analysis from 2018 revealed:
In the spring of 2016, the Baltimore County school board voted to give then Superintendent Dallas Dance a four-year contract with a four percent raise, increasing his annual base salary from $275,000 per year to $287,000 per year, according to the Baltimore Sun.
One school board member explained that the superintendent’s raise was justifiable because the district’s teachers were receiving a four percent raise.
Then in January 2017, the superintendent proposed a district budget that included a two percent raise for all district employees, including the many other administrators in the district.
“The pay increase is part of a four-year plan to boost salaries for all full-time school employees, designed to make up for years when smaller or no raises were provided,” the Sun reported.
After taking a look at what the district’s administrators made in fiscal 2016-17, it’s hard to feel sorry for those folks or understand why they could possibly need a salary increase.
A total of 480 administrators were paid a combined $59,994,162 in base salary, for an average of $124,987.84.
“Then, of course, there was superintendent Dance, who made a very healthy base salary of $265,000. Dance was eventually forced to resign in the summer of 2017, due to his failure to disclose the six-figure side income he earned as a consultant while serving as superintendent, according to the Sun,” EAGnews.org reported.
Dance oversaw a district where employees were paid six-figure salaries — but they never showed up for work.
A long-time unidentified educator in the district alerted Fox 45 in 2017 to payroll discrepancies at Edmondson Westside High School, and the news station has since expanded its investigation to discover similar problems at other schools.
“People at home need to question the administrators in the school,” the source told the news site.
“Students are in dire need of money, programs, books,” the teacher said. “It’s a bigger problem than the one story.”
The news site discovered Edmondson Westside employed two principals with six figure salaries, despite the fact that only one showed up for work. The other, allegedly, worked at a school in Kuwait.
Fox 45 later identified at least nine schools in the city that employed two principals in 2017, even though some haven’t been to their schools in years.
But yes, let’s be outraged at President Trump for saying
that’s a new notion.