Prince George's Co. graduation rates controversy

Some are accused of changing grades to allow students to graduate.

PRINCE GEORGE'S CO., MD (WUSA9) - More fraud allegations hit Prince George's Co. schools on Wednesday, focusing on artificially inflated graduation rates.

David Murray is among four school board members calling for a formal investigation. He said dozens of staff have come out of the woodwork this week.

“Administrators, guidance counselors, people that work with student records- so people we trust and people who have no motive to lie," Murray said.

Here’s the list of allegations.

  • Courses that students had not taken had been added to their records
  • Grades were changed without teachers’ consent
  • Students received credit for service learning hours that they had not earned.

One teacher, who didn't want to give her name, said the problem is widespread and unspoken. She has been with the district for more than 10 years.

“I mean nothing is in writing," she said. "It’s always implied. You know, can’t we work something out with this particular student?”

An investigation was completed months ago that was ordered by the Federal Education Department and it found all of the accusations to be false.

Murray wants more than a four-page investigation.

“Very narrowly done," he said. "That investigation, only talked to the superintendent and three of his high level staff.”

CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell has released two statements disputing the allegations in the past week. He blamed a small group in the community and calls the accusations baseless.

The county’s high school principals are also fighting the allegations, they released a statement, calling the allegations a political stunt to smear the district’s reputation. 

"A high school diploma should never be used as a political pawn to twist the perception of an entire school system,” Maxwell said.

The letter said the allegations are ‘insulting to staff’. They said it has caused ‘unspeakable damage’ to hard-working students.

As far as that unnamed teacher goes, she wants to see an investigation for her students sake.

“They work hard to help these kids, but the effort seems to be not to educate them, but to graduate them,” she said.

That teacher said she wants a safe, anonymous place, for staff to formally lodge their complaints.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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