August 30, 2019

USA: It Was Former NFL Player Jack Brewer Who Asked President Trump To Call Out Elijah Cummings On The Condition Of Baltimore. Al Sharpton Gets Heckled In Baltimore By Fed-Up Residents.

Fleccas Talks published on Aug 6, 2019: MURDERLAND: Baltimore Residents Are Tired of Corruption and Violence. Reverend Al Confronted. Baltimore has been in the news a lot the past few days. A Fleccas Talks correspondent spoke with some residents about the issues they're facing. Some residents confronted Reverend Al while conservative activist Scott Presler organized a MAGA Baltimore clean up that went viral on twitter.

The Daily Wire
written by Amanda Prestigiacomo
Thursday August 8, 2019

On Monday, street reporter Austen Fletcher, a.k.a “Fleccas,” released about ten minutes of footage of West Baltimore residents talking about the conditions of the area and how they felt about President Donald Trump's recent comments concerning West Baltimore — which the mainstream media and many top Democrats framed as racist.

The residents told a grim story about the decline of the area they love, plagued by crime and murder, and said Trump was right in his assessment even if, as one female put it, she's still “Team Obama.”

Fleccas also highlighted another inconsistency within the mainstream narrative. When controversial activist Rev. Al Sharpton popped up in West Baltimore following Trump’s comments, residents heckled the political figure, calling him a “phony” and a “hustler” and asking why he only comes around during politically opportune times.

“It’s just sad man, everyday I’m crying inside because I wake up and I’m still here. It used to be okay, but it's not now,” one man told Fleccas’ crew.

Another woman with a legally obtained firearm on her hip, said, “You can’t go home without feeling a threat of being shot, you’re scared to walk anywhere. ... The violence is that bad.”

“Baltimore city is definitely ‘Murderland,’” she later added. “There are contracts out here for nothing, to kill someone for less than $100. The statement is definitely true. I got my gun permit eight years ago. You really have to feel some type of way that you have to be armed to live in Baltimore city — granted, mine is legal.”

“I saw a man rob a man, right here,” a man working from behind a shield at a convenience store said. “A customer went out of the door, and this guy, he just opened the door for him and put a gun to his head and he robbed him right in his car.”

“I feel like nobody cares about this area here, they’re not concerned about us,” a middle-aged female said.

Two men then complained that Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has been representing the area for 25 years and has nothing to show for it.

“He allocated $4.6 billion for illegal immigrants but he hasn’t donated any money right for North Avenue ... West Baltimore. Where has he been at? It’s drug-infested, it’s homeless people right there in West Baltimore — two blocks from his district. He don’t come there everyday. I haven’t seen Elijah Cummings in ten years ride up and down North Avenue,” one of the men said, noting that the last time he was around was following the death of Freddie Gray, which was quickly politicized.

When asked about President Trump’s comments, one of the men answered, “Me personally, I want him to say things like that because it’s true. ... I don’t have no problems with the man. I really respect him as a man because he’s upfront, he’s truthful. They keep wanting to say, ‘he a racist, he a racist, he a racist’; that’s not the problem, especially with black people, because I don’t see white men killing my own kind, you know what I mean.”

The woman with a firearm on her hip told the interviewer, “It’s sad but it’s true.” She later added, “I’m still ‘Team Obama,’ but with that being said, he’s (Trump) a powerful man and I believe he can make a lot of changes happen.”

“I don’t want to make a comment on the president, but he has a point,” the man working at the convenience store said. “Crime is very high and something has to be done.”

Two other locals had a back-and-forth over Trump suggesting “no human” would want to live in the area. “That’s true! I moved. I moved out of there. I can take you, right now, where there’s no running water in a whole block — ten minutes from Elijah Cummings’ block,” one of them said.

In another part of the video, men living in West Baltimore heckled Mr. Sharpton while he was giving a speech about Trump’s comments, painting the president as racist.

“You go back to New York! You bring that s*** to New York! You ain’t do nothing for Baltimore! You a phony!” an elderly man yells at the political figure.

“Our schools are failing us! Where are you when our schools are failing us? You’re just a hustler,” another man yells at Sharpton.

Late last month, Trump highlighted the issues in West Baltimore while going after Mr. Cummings. Trump ridiculed the top Democrat for neglecting the American people he represents to focus on the southern border.

"Rep. Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA," Trump said in a series of tweets. "As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming[s'] District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.”

Though the media were quick to paint Trump as a racist for calling out the conditions, during a congressional hearing in 1999, Cummings called Baltimore “a drug-infested area" where people were "walking around like zombies,” as previously reported by The Daily Wire.
written by Autumn A. Arnett
May 19, 2017
  • Six Baltimore City schools — five high schools and one middle school — were found to have not a single student who scored proficient in math or reading in 2016, Fox45 News reports.
  • One student interviewed by the station said he believes students aren't passing the state assessments because the material on the tests is not covered in class.
  • Data shows that despite maintaining one of the country's highest per-pupil spending levels, a recent study out of Harvard University found Baltimore to have the lowest rate of mobility out of poverty in the country, a statistic tied directly to education as much as it is economic opportunity.
Dive Insight:

The news in Baltimore again underscores the debate over the impact of funding on school quality. Some say the education level of adults and parents in the district is the greatest determinant of student achievement, while other research has found a direct correlation between school funding and student graduation rates. And with Baltimore City Public Schools out-spending both Howard and Montgomery Counties in the state — both perennial exemplars in student achievement — questions loom over exactly where the money is going in Baltimore.

For one, the distribution of wealth in the city is highly concentrated. And as one of the first cities in the country to enact legal racial segregation, the neighborhoods — and thus the schools — remain highly segregated generations after the laws were overturned. A 2009 study out of Loyola University found that despite a mayoral moniker that Baltimore is "the city that reads," "in a city of over 700,000, an estimated 200,000 adults were considered functionally illiterate.”

But a bigger problem highlighted by the student's interview is the rigor of courses in the city's failing schools. In Montgomery and Howard Counties, even general education is highly focused on test preparation. In the schools in question in Baltimore, there is very little access to AP or advanced courses, and even the core courses seem to be inadequately preparing students for success after high school. Public libraries in the city have closed, and, according to Baltimore historian and UMUC professor Edwin Johnson, the city "has some of the nation’s most dilapidated school buildings and facilities, and the newest, most technologically advanced prison facilities.” All of these factors combine to paint a picture of how Baltimore, like many big cities in this country, is failing its most vulnerable population and perpetuating socio-economic inequality.
Fox45 News, Baltimore local
written by Chris Papst
May 17, 2017

BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- A Project Baltimore investigation has found five Baltimore City high schools and one middle school do not have a single student proficient in the state tested subjects of math and English.

We sat down with a teen who attends one of those schools and has overcome incredible challenges to find success.

Navon Warren grew up in West Baltimore. He was three months old when his father was shot to death. Before his 18th birthday, he would lose two uncles and a classmate, all gunned down on the streets of Baltimore.

“I’ve lost a lot of people, so I’m used to it. It hurts,” Warren said. “I just chose not to show it. I just keep it in. You just have to live on and keep going on every day. You have to do it somehow.”

Despite his tremendous loss, Warren is set to graduate this year from Frederick Douglass High School. It’s a school where only half the students graduate and just a few dozen will go to college. Last year, not one student scored proficient in any state testing.

“That’s absurd to me. That’s absurd to me,” says Warren’s mother Janel Nelson. “That’s your teachers report card, ultimately.”

Project Baltimore found Frederick Douglass is not alone. Four other city high schools and one middle school also have zero students proficient.

The schools are:
  • Booker T. Washington Middle School
  • Frederick Douglass High School
  • Achievement Academy at Harbor City
  • New Era Academy
  • Excel Academy at Francis M. Wood High
  • New Hope Academy
High school students are tested by the state in math and English. 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.

Despite the challenges at his school, Warren found a path to higher education. He’s the reigning Baltimore City 50 and 100 freestyle champion who competed at the junior Olympics, finishing in fourth place. In the fall, he will leave the streets of Baltimore and head to Bethany College in West Virginia, where he will swim.

“It’s exciting for him to get out of the city and exciting for him to start a new chapter in his life,” says Nelson.

Warren told FOX45, he believes zero students are proficient at Frederick Douglass, because the state tests are more advanced than what the students are learning in class.

Editor’s Note: We spoke with the executive director of teaching and learning for Baltimore City Schools about this data. She told us some of those students might be considered proficient, even though they did not score a four or five on the state tests. Baltimore City Schools later told us that was an error in statement.

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