Schools/Education Atlanta Public Schools

Published on August 5th, 2015 |

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APS to strengthen regulations on grade changing after seeing data

Just days before the Wednesday, Aug. 5 beginning of the 2015-16 school year, Atlanta Public Schools late last week announced it will strengthen its regulations on grade changing following a review of grade changing data by the district’s office of accountability.

According to a news release, District Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen, Ed.D., requested the review following the investigation of inappropriate grade changes uncovered during eight

APS Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstaphen

APS Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstaphen

investigations undertaken in the 2014-15 school year — half of which were inherited from the previous school year.

“The grade change review’s final report does not identify any additional cases of serious inappropriate actions beyond those already investigated. However, the review does highlight inconsistencies in practice, lack of clarity in process and a lack of necessary safeguards to effectively prevent inappropriate activity,” Bill Caritj, the district’s chief accountability officer, said in a news release.

Caritj guided a core team of district leaders to review current policies and procedures in order to recommend process improvements and procedural safeguards before the start of the new school year. The superintendent received the report Friday.

The review included a thorough examination of grade change regulations. One of the most significant changes is the implementation of new procedures that require an approval process for any grade changes to transcripts. These procedural safeguards are expected to ensure appropriate checks and balances are in place when altering student grades.

“APS is moving forward with the recommendations outlined in the report, and it is my intent that these new regulations become effective on Day 1 of the 2015-16 school year,” Carstarphen said in a news release. “We will continue to examine our processes to improve our systems. We know this is paramount as we seek to restore the public’s trust in APS.”

Carstarphen also said employees, stakeholders, parents and students should report concerns about any conduct or practice that seems questionable or inappropriate to the district’s ethics hotline via phone at 1-877-801-7754 or online at www.tnwinc.com/atlantapublicschools.

The report can be viewed by visiting http://www.atlanta.k12.ga.us/cms/lib/GA01000924/Centricity/Domain/1/July31APS%20Grade%20Change%20Review%20ResultsFNL.pdf.

Information on revised grade change regulations is available at http://www.atlanta.k12.ga.us/cms/lib/GA01000924/Centricity/Domain/1/IHA-R%20Grading%20Systems%20Grading%20Expectations.pdf

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