Things not going well at District of Columbia Public Schools

The fallout from the Ballou High School student graduation scandal continues unabated.  Today, Perry Stein of the Washington Post reveals that Jane Spence, the DCPS chief of secondary schools, has been placed on administrative leave.  There was no indication of when she will return to her job, when this action was taken, or whether the leave is paid or unpaid.  Yesterday, WJLA NBC7 reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been interviewing current and former teachers at the high school, along with the United States Department of Education and the D.C. Office of Inspector General.  According to the story:

“Sources add the topics of the investigation include allegations that teachers were pressured to change grades to pass students, allegations that administrators altered grades or attendance records, and whether students receiving special federal funding had grades or attendance records altered.”

Principal Yetunde Reeves has been reassigned and assistant principal  Shamele Straughter has also been placed on administrative leave.  The big question is whether Chancellor Antwan Wilson will survive the controversy over whether students received diplomas who should not have due to poor attendance and low academic performance.  There is evidence that administrators pressured teachers to graduate students and that complaints to Mr. Wilson about the situation at the school were ignored.  The chancellor’s response to all of this is that he will hire an ombudsman to investigate problems at DCPS going forward.  But of course, isn’t this his job?

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