7 On Your Side
Resolution for students with lowered grades
STATEN ISLAND (WABC) -- Nobody had ever seen anything like it. Staten Island school report cards with scores of grades lowered to the brink of failure. It led to parent protests and, after our calls, an investigation by the Department of Education.
That three month probe ended on the last day of school.
"They deserve the grades they worked hard for. It wasn't fair," Wendy Chang said.
Chang's outrage has been simmering for more than 3 months. Last spring she was one of scores of parents speaking out, showing how their fourth graders at PS 55, grades had been lowered.
"Everywhere there's a bump, that's where the whiteout is and that's where the grades were changed," Chang said.
Parents of more than a dozen kids noticed whiteout on report cards, and when held it up to the light, one could see good grades changed to poor ones.
Not only were grades lowered, but teacher praises were also pasted over with warnings that promotions were in doubt.
Some parents didn't want their faces shown, but wanted to speak up with Wendy. They say the school wanted to make their kids to appear as if they were struggling in class after some didn't do well on a practice state-wide test.
"If they fail the test, but had all 3 and 4 on their report card , it doesn't jive and the school looks bad. Somebody done something wrong," Chang said.
The parents confronted the teacher who blamed an administrator alleging they were instructed to lower the grades. After we went looking for answers, the Department of Education began an internal investigation.
The result? The teacher changed grades without authorization now parents don't know who to believe.
The final report cards issued this week are fresh new ones, with the lowered grades and comments removed.
"If it weren't for you guys, I think it would have been swiped under the carpet and the children would have suffered, Chang said.
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