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State investigation calls EBR school leaders "negligent"

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Posted: Mar 16, 2014 11:56 PM by Chris Nakamoto
Updated: Mar 17, 2014 7:15 AM
Source: WBRZ

  Rating: 5.0 (1 vote)
    •  The seven page audit calls for sweeping changes. The seven page audit calls for sweeping changes.
    • The seven page audit calls for sweeping changes.

Topics: EBR School Investigation, LA Department of Education, WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- The State Department of Education has given the East Baton Rouge Parish School System a deadline of April to submit a plan to fix serious issues. The issues are hi-lighted in a seven page audit which found "negligence with record keeping and a lack of internal controls led to misreporting on critical measures of school success."

The investigation began after a graduation discrepancy was reported where a student received a diploma who shouldn't have. That student was allowed to graduate with insufficient credits.

The News 2 Investigative Unit first told you about the story in January. Then on Friday, we captured video of top school officials leaving the Department of Education Building after they had been briefed about the report.

Investigators from the state conducted interviews with staff and found the student who received the diploma was allowed to graduate by the Principal at Glen Oaks High School. The state also found that the system does not have a process to oversee the accuracy of student records.

Academic records were reviewed for school years from 2010 until 2013. One of the findings by the state showed 25% of 362 student recrods reviewed included major errors. Students were awarded credits inconsistent with their cumulative folders. They were also awarded grades inconsistent with their cumulative folders. Significant documentation was also missing.

"The erroneous record keeping appears to result from a negligent lack of internal controls and oversight at the central office and, in some cases, falsification at the school level," the investigation said.

Of the graduation rates, EBR was unable to verify 82% of the 221 sampled records.

"Again, EBRPSS' negligence with regard to record keeping and its lack of internal controls led to misreporting on critical measures of school success," the investigation said.

Of the 15 schools reviewed in the EBR School System the state didn't find inconsistencies at three. Those schools are: Arlington Preparatory Academy, Baton Rouge Magnet High School and Woodlawn High School.

The 12 with inconsistencies are: Belaire High School, Broadmoor Senior High School, Career Academy, East Baton Rouge Laboratory Academy, East Baton Rouge Accelerated Academy, Glen Oaks Senior High School, Istrouma High School, McKinley Senior High School, Northdale Superintendent's Academy, Northeast High School, Scotlandville Magnet High School and Tara High School.

News 2's Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto will have more on this developing story coming up on 2une-In and throughout the day on WBRZ.com.

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