State Ready To Investigate Grade Changing Allegations

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By Lisa Blackwell

The State Department of Education says their team is ready to begin asking questions and finding answers into alllegations of grade changing at Montgomery Public Schools.

State School Superintendent Tommy Bice says the state's investigation will start next week and his department has already started putting together preliminary information based on student data.

The state department of education has chosen three people they feel are most qualified to investigate allegations of grade changing at some Montgomery high schools.

"One will be a superintendent, one will be a high school principal and one will be someone who understands student management and data systems," said Bice.

Bice says the team will look at student grade books, teacher grade books, student records where grades are captured and transcripts.

"My hope is that we find a limited if any verification of that if we find something different we'll be very aggressive in pursuing that," said Bice.

Montgomery Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Thompson is launching a separate independent investigation led by a retired FBI agent. She says she thinks the two investigations are enough. 

 "We wanted our own independent investigation then we involed the state department because those are the people that typically look at teacher behavior, licensing and those kinds of inappropriate things," said Thompson.

Retired Lee High school teacher Lesa Keith is one of several teachers who alleges grades were being changed and insinuated that Thompson knew about it. Thompson says when she learned of the allegations she took proactive measures and looks forward to the results of the investigation.

"I think for the record you have to look back at who initiated complaints and grievances if we have any of those in our office, these are things taht are going to come out as a part of the investigation," said Thompson. 

Bice says the names of team members will be announced on Monday, when the investigation begins. He says it's a process that could take only a week or possibly several months to complete.

Grade changing allegedly took place at three Montgomery High Schools within the last three years.



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