Thursday, February 24, 2022

Forget It Jake, It's Baltimore

John Sexton at Haut Hair, How one student graduated from a Baltimore high school without ever learning to read

This story comes from Fox 45 in Baltimore, the same station that has been covering problems at the city’s schools for months. Monday reporter Chris Papst filed his latest story about a woman named Debora Prestileo who graduated from Baltimore City schools back in 1999. But even today, more than 20 years later, Debora has never really learned to read.
“It’s embarrassing sometimes,” Prestileo told Project Baltimore. “Going into stores, like if I go into Walmart, and I’ve got to ask for help. Sometimes people laugh at me.”

Prestileo has a learning disability, caused in part by a hearing impairment that wasn’t addressed until recently. She’s partially deaf, which severely impacted her ability to learn.
As most parents are probably aware, you can’t graduate from high school without passing certain core classes including English. So how did Debora get through four years of English classes without being able to read? She got “help” from her teachers.
“Some teachers would give me, like if we’re taking a test, they would give me the paper, so I can write the answers down, so I wouldn’t fail the class. And I’m like, ‘well, that’s not teaching me, that’s just helping me cheat,’” Prestileo said…

“They passed me. They just passed me along to get me out of the school,” Prestileo told Project Baltimore. “They knew I didn’t know how to read. They knew I didn’t know how to do a lot of stuff. But they didn’t care.”
Papst looked up her records and not only did Debora pass she got Cs in her freshman and sophomore years. That’s obviously not possible unless those teachers were cheating.

Debora’s story ties into another one that Fox45 reported last month. A teacher gave the station unredacted test scores that show 77% of students tested at Patterson high school are reading at an elementary level.

Now, start looking at some of the boys who managed to stick around long enough to "graduate", I dare you.  

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