Sanford: More needs to be done in grade fixing scandal

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It is clearly the biggest scandal to hit local public schools in years. While the focus had been on allegations of grade fixing at Trezevant High School, there are now strong indications that the problem goes beyond Trazevant to other schools.

But here`s what we do know at the moment.

An investigative team of outside lawyers led by former U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton III found pervasive academic fraud at Trezevant. Officials at the school were routinely changing failing grades to passing grades, and more than 50 students received their high school diplomas when they should not have been allowed to graduate.

The findings were presented to the Shelby County School Board Tuesday night and the visibly upset board voted unanimously to fire former Trezevant football coach Teli White. Several of those students played on his championship football team.

But Stanton's investigation made it clear that grades of non-athletes were altered as well. Plus, the report indicates that similar fraud was occurring at other county schools.

It's commendable that board members took swift action in firing White, but their work is far from over. For the sake of credibility, the Shelby County School Board and Superintendent Dorsey Hopson must assure the public that they are committed to rooting out academic fraud wherever it`s found and no matter who is involved.