State officially launches investigation into allegations of cheating at EBRSS

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

The state has officially
launched an investigation into the East Baton Rouge Parish School System. It comes after allegations
of graduation record discrepancies. The school system’s
superintendent says he is baffled by the allegations.

“You don’t know what to fix because you don’t
know to what degree it’s true. I don’t even know what school we’re talking
about,” said EBRSS Superintendent Bernard Taylor.

Superintendent Taylor also
says the first time he ever heard of any allegations of cheating or wrongdoing
within EBR schools was Wednesday – the same day the news made headlines.

“The state superintendent
called me yesterday at 3:48pm to tell me that information had leaked about an
isolated situation that involved one student,” said Superintendent Taylor.

According to nola.com, a
whistle blower documented two years worth of alleged oversight and school
district policies that were not followed. In one example, a student getting a
diploma despite being caught cheating. It’s why State Superintendent John White
sent a letter to Taylor Thursday stating:

Dear Superintendent
Taylor:


The Louisiana Department
of Education recently received detailed complaints of discrepancies among
student graduation records within the East Baton Rouge Parish School System. We
take such complaints seriously and plan to commence immediately an audit of the
relevant records from the East Baton Rouge Parish School System for school
years ending between 2010 and 2013.


The audit will necessitate
that all relevant electronic and hard copy records be made available to
Department staff. It will also be necessary that East Baton Rouge Parish school
and district administrators make themselves available for discussion with
Department staff, as requested.


Please have the
appropriate administrator contact Stephen Osborn, Assistant Superintendent of
Student Programs, … by close of business, Friday, January 10, to schedule an
entrance conference.


Sincerely,


John C. White


State Superintendent of
Education.

White refused an on camera
interview. Taylor has been EBR Superintendent for the past year and a half.

“I knew of the one
incident because that happened in April and we investigated that. We self
reported that so I knew of that. This other stuff, I heard of it yesterday,”
said Superintendent Taylor.

Taylor says any time any
school within EBR has issues with cheating, plagiarism or simply any
irregularity during test taking, they themselves report it to the State
Department of Education.

As for other allegations
with online courses, such as a student being allowed to use Google to search
for answers and teachers not monitoring the online testing, Taylor says those
issues should have been brought to a principal or his attention, not the state
or media.

“Show me where they have a
letter or emails or text to the principal where they said hey this is a problem
and nothing was done,” said Taylor.

It he had an issue come
across his table, Taylor promises it would have been addressed. 

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