BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There has been a district-wide decline of test scores in Baltimore City schools.  It’s the first time in a long time.  Gigi Barnett reports parents are calling for change.

“It’s pathetic,” said one parent.

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That’s how some parents describe city schools’ recent standardized test results.  After three back-to-back years of gains, reading scores citywide dipped more than three percentage points.  Math results were even lower, at nearly five percentage points.

City Schools CEO Dr. Andres Alonso calls the scores “unacceptable” but he says long-term passing scores take time.

“The progress of the kids are real,” Alonso said.

That’s not enough for some parents, who say low scores are a reason to transfer students out of city schools.

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“They’re saying it’s better to put their children in even a charter school or a private school, ’cause if you’re paying money, then you expect more,” said Dennis James.

Still, some say it’s poor performing teachers who need to go.

“If I start slacking off at my job, I’m fired,” said Tom Sasada.

But others say the teachers aren’t the only ones to blame.

“Parents aren’t doing their job either, and that’s where a lot of things go wrong,” said Rose Hitchens.

The low scores come at a time when the district is still reeling from a test-tampering scandal uncovered at two elementary schools.

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Although city scores are down, state school leaders say test scores across Maryland continue to rise.