NEW ROCHELLE, NY — On December 4, 2018 the New Rochelle Board of Education formally accepted the Final Report by T&M Protection Resources into allegations of “improper practices” related to online credit recovery through Apex Learning. Now, exactly one year later, the New Rochelle Board of Education is getting its first look at the Final Report of a newly completed investigation into a grade-fixing scandal first exposed by Talk of the Sound on May 7, 2008.
“The final report on the re-opened Apex investigation was delivered to the New Rochelle Board of Education today,” said President Amy Moselhi. “The Board expects to discuss the Apex investigation in Executive Session on December 17th then make a decision on whether to release the report to the public.”
Moselhi did not rule out releasing the full report, as was done with a previous report by T & M Protection Resources one year ago today. She said that decision would need to be made by the full board after discussing the report.
District officials declined to say what information was brought forward, who brought it forward, when exactly it was brought forward or who has been conducting this second investigation into the since terminated high school credit recovery program administered through Apex Learning.
Talk of the Sound was the first to report this past September that the District had secretly re-opened its previously closed investigation into the Apex Learning grade-fixing scandal.
At the time the initial report was released in December 2018, the board took the position that the report was “complete and final” and would be referred to the New York State Education Department.
In September, Moselhi denied any knowledge of a publicly-announced referral of the original investigation to state investigators.
“I was not aware that (the T&M Report) was sent to the state test unit/BOCES,” wrote Moselhi. She copied then-interim Superintendent Dr. Magda Parvey on the email and asked Parvey to confirm that the Apex Learning investigation report was sent to “the state test unit/BOCES”.
The report was sent via FedEx to James A. Gratto, Jr. , the Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services at Southern Westchester BOCES and the Integrity Officer for the Testing Security Unit of Southern Westchester BOCES with a cover letter dated December 12, 2018. An email dated December 14, 2018 from then-Board President Jeffrey Hastie to then SED Commissioner Elia and Grotto confirmed delivery of the report.
The cover letter incorrectly attributed to high school teacher Anthony Stirpe (not mentioned by name) the District first learning of “improper practices” with online credit recovery. Talk of the Sound ran a story on the subjects weeks earlier and discussed the story with two board members on May 8, 2018.
Before her departure on October 31st, Parvey told Talk of the Sound she was aware that the investigation by the Testing Security Unit had been completed but did not know the outcome of that investigation or whether a Final State Test Unit had been delivered to the District.
On December 12, 2018, then-New Rochelle Board of Education President Jeffrey Hastie sent a letter to New York State Education Department Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia to notify her that the Board had received a final report from T&M Protection Resources at its December 4, 2018 board meeting. Talk of the Sound obtained a copy of the letter under a Freedom of Information request.