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EBR Superintendent upset with state over investigation

3 years 2 months 5 days ago March 17, 2014 Mar 17, 2014 Monday, March 17 2014 March 17, 2014 4:49 PM in The Investigative Unit
Source: WBRZ
By: Chris Nakamoto

BATON ROUGE - East Baton Rouge Parish School Superintendent Bernard Taylor expressed his unhappiness with the state, after it released an investigation into the school system without interviewing him first about the findings.

"It seems everyone was informed of this," Taylor said. "I've never know of an audit report about an administrative matter being given to anybody but the administration involved."

News 2 was outside the Department of Education when Taylor walked into the building to meet with State Education Superintendent John White about the findings. 

The state's investigation raised serious concerns. The state sampled student records at random and found 25-percent of the 362 student cumulative folders at 13 schools included major errors.

The audit said, "the erroneous record keeping appears to result from a negligent lack of internal controls...and falsification at the school level."

It goes on to say that it was discovered at least one staff member was directed to delete emails regarding a student who received a fraudulent diploma. That is something we asked Taylor about.

"There is no evidence of that," Taylor said. "That's the irresponsible thing I'm talking about. There's no evidence nothing has been presented."

When asked why it was in the state's report, Taylor said he didn't know.

"I don't know why they would do it," Taylor said. "They just reported it. There is no corroborating evidence."

State Education Superintendent John White declined to do an interview. Outspoken lawmaker Mack 'Bodi' White, who's pushing for change in the EBR system, had no problem speaking out.

"It's appalling," Rep. White said. "I guess this superintendent came in and had a new game plan to move kids, cheat and that's how we'll move out of being a failing school system."

Rep. White prefiled a bill last month to separate the EBR School District into sections. He believes now that the investigation is complete, supporters of the school system who held a press conference blaming others for the bad publicity should apologize.

"For them to come out and say people in the southeast part of the parish fabricated all of this, tell me how you fabricate going in changing records in East Baton Rouge School District," Rep. White said. "How do you do that? That would be the biggest conspiracy in the country."

To read the full report, click here.

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