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Failure Rates Doubled Or Tripled During Second Semester At Most Maryland Public Schools, New Report Shows

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) -- As Maryland schools continue to allow more students to come back to in-person learning this week, a new report shows that most of the public school systems saw failure rates double or triple during their second semester.

According to the report released by state school superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon, virtual learning has made a huge impact on middle and high school student's grades.

A chart in the report (see page 8 below) shows, 21 out of 24 school districts report failure rates increased among high school students in science and English, 20 districts are seeing fail rates increase in math and 19 districts are seeing fail rates increase in social studies.

Among middle-schoolers, the statistics are even worse, with 23 out of 24 Maryland public school districts reporting an increase in failure rates in every subject.

"Most of the school systems, the percent of students who failed a particular course approximately doubled or more," said Dara Shaw, of the Maryland State Education Department.

Attendance was also down, according to the report.

"I hope that, as we're moving into spring, as more of our districts are reopening, that we see a significant change," said Lori Morrow, of the Maryland State Board of Education.

The Maryland State Board of Education issued the following statement:

"The Board presentation on metrics for the second grading period demonstrates how much are children are struggling academically during this pandemic, compunding the emotional and social toll they are experiencing."

In Baltimore County, the district is starting to offer in-person schooling on Saturdays.

"School as we all know it was interrupted," Mary McComas, Chief Academic Officer of Baltimore County Public Schools, said. "We have moved to different phases of reinventing teaching and learning."

It's optional for both teachers and students.

"We have to realize as well it's certainly not going to be the magic fix," President of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County, said. "It's just another tool in the toolbox to reach some of those students."

Maryland schools closed last March when the coronavirus pandemic arrived in the state. Only some schools reopened for in-person learning in the fall, some of which had to close again when cases spiked.

Gov. Larry Hogan asked that all public schools allow for some in-person learning starting March 1.

See the full report below:

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