(The Center Square) – Maryland’s governor is calling for an investigation of a school district following the release of a report that indicates grade-changing practices have taken place.
Gov. Larry Hogan sent a letter to Ereck. L. Barron, the U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland, asking for an inquiry into the Maryland Inspector General of Education’s report of the potential scheme taking place in Baltimore City Public Schools.
The Republican governor, heading into his final months in office, made a similar request to the state’s prosecutor as well, asking both officials to make a full criminal investigation and prosecute those involved in the alleged scheme.
“Providing a world-class education for every Maryland student, regardless of which neighborhood they happen to grow up in, has been and always will be my top priority,” Hogan said in the release. “Our administration has provided record funding for K-12 education totaling $55 billion and embarked on the largest investment in school construction in state history.
“In addition to these record investments, I have pushed for more accountability in order to raise academic standards and root out corruption and mismanagement. In response to a number of ethical lapses in local school systems – including criminal convictions, grade-fixing scandals, and procurement improprieties – we successfully established the first Office of Inspector General for Education in state history.”
Hogan said in the release that in September 2020 an investigation into allegations of grade-changing practices in the Charm City’s schools was executed. The investigation comprised of interviews with current and past teachers, administration staff, and other management personnel, in addition to reviewing student data, records, and grade-change forms.
“In its final report, the Inspector General confirmed the existence of a massive grade-fixing scheme in Baltimore City Public Schools, documenting thousands of instances of wrongdoing and systemic problems,” Hogan said. “The report reveals a staggering level of disregard for the integrity of the educational system and a clear lack of accountability at the highest levels.”
Hogan said the district had for years denied, and passed off, on allegations pertaining to fixing students’ grades by attempting “to sweep it all under the rug.”
“None of this should be allowed to happen in any school system, let alone in one of the most highly-funded large school systems in America,” Hogan said. “All involved in this culture of corruption must be held accountable.
Hogan pointed out that in addition to the school system receiving state tax money it also receives a great deal of federal taxpayer money as well.