SCS to investigate more schools in grade-fixing scandal

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — New information has been released about possible grade changing that is happening at multiple Shelby County high schools.

The district now wants to dig deeper to see if illegal grade changing is a widespread problem.

Last week, WREG learned about an audit that uncovered 53 Trezevant High School students graduated this past May without actually earning their diplomas.

Shelby County School board member Chris Caldwell said the school district will look closely at several more schools that were highlighted in the audit and showed a high amount of grade changes.

Those schools are: Kirby, Trezevant, Raleigh-Egypt, Bolton, Power Center Academy, Arlington, Memphis Virtual School, Westwood and White Station.

"I'm glad that it has come out. I'm hurt that our children were impacted by this," said Shelby County School Board member Stephanie Love.

Love says she's distraught after she read the 258-page report that was released by Butler Snow.

The report shined a light on illegal grade changes that were taking place at Trezevant High School and the 53 student who graduated without earning their diplomas.

The report also goes on to state that, "the issue needs to be thoroughly investigated on a wider scale."

"We need to find out what's going on, get the information we need and implement policies and procedures," said Love.

An audit that was released by Dixon Hughes Goodman showed that the schools that are now being investigated changed at least 199 grades between July 2012 and October 2016 from failing to passing.

School Board members say an investigation does not mean there is any wrong doing, but there is there should be documentation that supports each grade change.

"We are going to make sure this doesn't happen again, and the way we do that is to make sure the superintendent understands what happened was a disservice to our children," said Love.

A screen shot from the report gives more detail about how many grades were changed at each school.

SCS's media relations team released a statement:

"Shelby County Schools is committed to ensuring students' academic records are always handled with the highest levels of integrity in our schools. The final investigative report included an initial review of grading practices conducted by Dixon Hughes Goodman mentioning several schools with a higher rate of grade changes than others in the District. Recognizing there are many instances in which grading changes may be appropriate and necessary, we believe it’s important to further examine the nature of grading changes at the schools that belong to SCS. We have engaged Dixon Hughes Goodman in this effort and will utilize any other resources that may be available to the District. We’ve added tighter controls for all schools since this investigation started last fall, including additional training and support for staff. However, we look forward to learning more in the coming weeks so we can provide further clarity to our families and stakeholders. "