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Consequence of NOLA High School Grade-fix: All New Orleans HS Student Records to be Audited

June 27, 2019

This is a long time coming.

As a result of the grade-fixing scandal at a New Orleans charter high school– a scandal that resulted in 49 percent of the school’s Class of 2019 being found to lack credits and/or exit exam scores– Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) superintendent, Henderson Lewis, vows a criminal investigation of that school, Kennedy High School (operated by New Beginnings Schools Foundation) as well as an audit of student records for students attending New Orleans high schools.

New Orleans is slated to become the nation’s first all-charter school district by 2022.

From the June 27, 2019, article in The Lens:

Orleans Parish schools Superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr. on Thursday blasted John F. Kennedy High School and the New Beginnings Schools Foundation, the nonprofit that runs Kennedy, amid a grade-fixing scandal and investigations that have rocked students at the Gentilly high school. Lewis called for a criminal investigation into the school and said that the district will conduct a student record audit of every Orleans Parish school district high school. …

Lewis’ remarks came a week after it was revealed that nearly half of the students in the school’s 2019 graduating class were not eligible for graduation due in part to staff “malfeasance,” New Beginnings board president Raphael Gang told The Lens last week. The announcement came more than a month after the school’s May 17 graduation ceremony. …

Lewis also announced he had sent a letter to State Inspector General Stephen B. Street, Jr. asking him “to conduct his own independent investigation into this matter to assess if any criminal wrongdoing has occurred.” …

…He made an announcement with citywide implications — the district will expand the student record audit to all high schools in the city.

“We cannot allow this travesty to happen again,” Lewis said. “We will audit student records at every high school, working with experts in the field to help us design high school quality auditing tools.”

Be sure to read the full article in The Lens for more details.

It is about time for an audit of student grades at New Orleans’ high schools. Several years ago, I encountered a situation in which a New Orleans parent was concerned because her daughter received credit for high school courses she had not taken. I could not get the parent to go on the record with me, presumably because the daughter had already graduated, and by blowing the whistle, the daughter’s post-secondary plans could be in jeopardy. However, the reality is that no parent should be put in the position of having to decide whether or not to jeopardize a child’s future because the school decided to exploit students by falsifying student records.

Responsibility for this fiasco falls squarely on the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE), which has failed to adequately oversee the “New Orleans miracle”; the then-Recovery School District (RSD), which was supposed to “turn around” schools (when all it did was *turn* all schools into charter schools); and the New Beginnings board, which also failed to oversee its schools. Now that the RSD is being dissolved and OPSB is now responsible for oversight of all-charter-by-2022 New Orleans schools, as a result of a grand, graduation mess, an audit of student records will happen.

It. Is. About. Time.

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Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

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9 Comments
  1. David Terrie permalink

    And let the “cleansing” of eduplaytors from this land commence,  in earnest. Block the roads,  man the airports,  let no scam artist escape unscathed…. 

  2. Laura permalink

    Is it possible to mention the name of the high school involved with the situation you heard about several years ago?

  3. Lance Hill permalink

    This is the charter network formed and staffed by the University of New Orleans and their associates. This insider status in the locally white-dominated higher education system is the reason they have never had their license revoked, despite chronic failure and now massive corruption,

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Mercedes Schneider: All Student Records in NOLA Will Be Audited After Scandal | Diane Ravitch's blog
  2. The New Orleans Charter Fiasco Train: Add Another Car | deutsch29
  3. New Orleans’ Kennedy High School Grading Fiasco and Perforated Accountability | deutsch29
  4. Mercedes Schneider On NOLA Charter Chaos | Diane Ravitch's blog

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