NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Drip, Drip, Drip. Got another one!
The numbers are way worse than we thought: not a few dozen students but hundreds.
We are hearing that the T&M Protection Resources Investigation into allegations of grade-fixing tied to credit recovery will sustain allegations that Shadia Alvarez manufactured grades and altered existing grades throughout the previous school year. Based on the T&M Invoices we obtained under a Freedom of Information Request, we learned that T&M had prepared a spreadsheet for an interview of Alvarez containing grade-change or grade-manufacturing data for 32 students. We were tipped last night that the actual number is far higher, more like in excess of 200 students were given grades for Apex courses by Alvarez without any supporting documentation or coherent explanation when interviewed by T&M investigators.
This figure is well in excess of the 32 students indicated in the T&M invoices. It rings true to us because it sounds a lot like how Alvarez struggled to explain fraud allegations to SCI investigators in the New York City School System.
We are working to get an exact figure. If you have additional information please call or text 914-325-4616.
Other students existing grades were changed, also without supporting documentation. In some cases, Alvarez changed the grades for students that were scheduled to graduate in June and, inexplicably, for students who had already graduated. There were a few students that graduated in June but would not have graduated except for Alvarez changing their grades. All of this without supporting documentation or coherent explanation.
This sounds a lot like what we worried about all along – some students may have have gotten phony diplomas. If the 200 students figure is correct that represents about 25-30% of the graduating class in June 2018, a large number who had grades and/or credits on their transcript they had not earned.
A big question becomes, what the District will do if a student was given a diploma and the investigation shows they did not earn enough credits to graduate? Will they require students to re-enroll at the high school? Take additional courses? Rescind their diplomas? And what about G.P.A. and class rank? Those numbers may be way off. Will the District re-calculate them? Another big question is the role of BOCES and the New York State Education Department.
Talk of the Sound continues to reach out to those with knowledge of the investigation. If you were interviewed, know someone who was and is not listed, let us know. If the questions suggest where the investigation, let us know and best yet if you have a copy of the report – draft, final, redacted, un-redacted — definitely let us know!
Robert Cox can be reached confidentially at 914-325-4616.