Local News

Grade scandal at Fort Lee High

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Fort Lee High School is ranked as one of the state's best, but new disturbing allegations could change that.

School officials say an investigation has uncovered a pattern of misconduct that could lead to school administrators and counselors being fired.

"It's something I find distasteful and disheartening," Fort Lee Superintendant Raymond Bandlow said.

Just 6 months on the job, Bandlow is dealing with the kind of scandal that would give any school district a black eye.

"I think this is damaging to our reputation," he said.

The investigation revealed Fort Lee High School student transcripts were changed to help juniors and seniors improve their standing for college.

The investigation continues, but already officials say there is evidence that some of the school's top students had their grades altered.

Someone accessed a student database and re-worked transcripts. In some cases deleting a "B" and putting in an "A" instead. Perhaps for as many as 60 students over a 6 year period had altered grades.

Leron Carmel, a junior at the school, said, "The principal always talks about how our School is really good and how many get into Ivy League schools."

But actually altering transcripts? Parent Michael Klein can't believe it.

"I don't think teachers would put their job on the line to change grades," he said.

So far district officials say teachers here weren't doing it. They believe some school administrators and counselors were behind the plan.

They allegedly did it without student's knowledge.

But it is the high school's juniors, seniors and recent graduates who may stand to lose the most with their grades in now in question.


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