While waiting for a call back from the Baltimore City Public School System and the Parent and Community Advisory Board about yesterday's news that schools chief Dr. Andres Alonso is requesting the closure of Homeland Security High School, I decided to take a quick look at Homeland High's 2008 Maryland Report Card, academic-performance records compiled by the state Department of Education.
Here a quick snapshot of Homeland Security High:
Enrollment: Homeland Security High, which opened during the 2005-06 school year, had an enrollment in 2008 of 525 kids in grades 9-12. That enrollment is up 162 students from the school's 2006 enrollment of 363.
Graduation rate: 77.61 percent in 2008; that's a big drop from its 2006 graduation rate of 94.94 percent, and its 2007 rate of 93.88 percent. The citywide average graduation rate is 62.65, up slightly from 60.05 in 2007 and 60.63 in 2006.
Dropout rate: 12.04 percent for 2008, an improvement over 2007 when that rate was 14.15 percent, but a huge increase from its 2006 dropout rate of 3.41 percent. The citywide average dropout rate, meanwhile, is 7.91 percent--slightly lower than in 2007, when it was 9.37 and in 2006 when it was 10.26.
According to information available on the Baltimore City Public Schools web site, the schools scoring on standardized tests has been pretty dismal. In 2008, only 11.8 percent of students passed the high school assessment test in algebra (an increase from 8.4 percent in 2007 and 6.4 percent in 2006). In biology, 16.2 percent of students passed (up from 15.6 percent in 2007 and 14.3 percent in 2006). In English, 18.9 percent of students passed the test, down from 20.5 in 2007 but up from 16.1 in 2006.
In 2008, when the Maryland State Department of Education labeled five Baltimore city schools as "persistently dangerous," Homeland Security was not on the list. It was, however, placed on a list of 10 Baltimore city schools that were on probation for potentially dangerous conditions.