Oklahoma School Cheating Scandal Brings Audit Of Student Transcripts, Most Not Ready To Graduate

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Almost none of the upperclassmen at an Oklahoma City school are on track to graduate following a cheating scandal that led to the school principal's resignation in October, News 9 in Oklahoma City reports.

An audit of the embattled Douglass Mid-High School reveals that 81 percent of the school's seniors may not graduate on time, and 95 percent of its juniors are not on track to graduate next year.

Investigations continue over allegations that former Douglass Principal Brian Staples inflated grades and tampered with attendance records to make the school look better. As a result, the state is conducting a full transcript audit of every Douglass student and will launch an audit of all Oklahoma City high school student transcripts, News 9 reports.

Affidavits from former teachers and students accuse Douglass of misconduct, such as instructing a social studies teacher not to assign homework and to pass all students "no matter what." One affidavit, according to The Oklahoman:

Kanda Barnes, a 2011 graduate: “During the school term 2010-2011, both fall and spring, I did not have a 12th grade English class. This class is a requirement for graduation. Dr. Brian Staples gave me a C both semesters for my 12th grade English class. Dr. Brian Staples suggested a student to take my Algebra class online for me. This was a difficult class for me. The Assistant Principal Ms. Cox called her into her office. I paid her $100 and $150 more after completion. My freshman math grades had been switched previous from two F’s to two C’s by Dr. Staples."

School officials are now scrambling to fix what they call a "crisis" and to determine how to help Douglass students earn their diplomas, according to The Oklahoman. Individual profiles are being created for each student to determine specific needs.

While schedule shifting could allow juniors could make up for lost time, seniors may need to take on weekend courses. Officials tell News 9 they're concerned that students faced with the added workload may turn to dropping out before graduation.

The scandal rocking Douglass is not unique, as teachers and administrators around the country have been shown to crumble under increasing pressure to improve student performance. A report last month found that as many as one in five teachers in Kansas and neighboring states lists science grades on student report cards without actually teaching or testing students on the subject.

Field Elementary School in Dallas, an "exemplary" school noted for academic achievement, was found to have only taught its third-graders reading and math last year. Teachers fabricated scores for every student in other subject areas, like social studies and science.

Field Elementary Principal Roslyn Carter "directed and caused false school records to be created," so that teachers could focus on student excellence in reading in math -- the only subjects third-graders test for on the state-wide Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. Student performance on the standardized exam helps determine a school's status.

Carter was forced out of Field elementary for "unethical" behavior and later hired to run Garfield Elementary School in Washington, D.C. She was fired shortly afterward when D.C. school officials uncovered her history in Dallas.

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