Whistleblower 9: CMS teachers say there's pressure to change grades

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte-Mecklenburg School teachers said they are being pressured into changing grades. They said students who have never even shown up for class were given passing grades.

On Friday night, a teachers group is worried about the grade policy at South Meck High School.

Whistleblower 9 first reported on this kind of policy at various Charlotte schools back in May.

Teachers are encouraged not to fail students giving them a minimum score no matter what, so they still have chance to pass the course.

A similar policy is being recommended at South Meck and some teachers are furious.

An email sent to teachers at South Meck last week announced a mandatory meeting for, "teachers who have not yet provided support for failing grades."

It says, "Grades below 70/D can only be given to students if the teacher has made significant effort to share concerns with parents in a timely fashion."

"The end goal of a suggestion like this is to increase the passing rates and the number who graduate," said Judy Kidd.

She is the president of the Classroom Teachers Association. She said she has spoken with many upset teachers from South Meck who claim even if they contact parents, they are still being told to give no grade lower than a 50.

"And that is with kids who have not even attended class or so much as put their name on a piece of paper," said Kidd.

One of those upset teachers may have written this anonymous letter to administrators that said, "Telling us to change legitimate grades was wrong, unethical, immoral, shady and maybe even illegal."

The principal at South Meck called the misunderstanding that has been cleared up with her staff and she said that the letter does not represent all of her teachers.

In a statement, Principal Maureen Furr said, "Our teachers recognize the power and importance of these efforts and support the need to engage parents, especially when students are struggling and make this partnership a priority in the process of assessing student performance.

Kidd is not buying it.

"When these students go to community college and have to take two years of remedial, it leaves the community looking at the classroom," she said.

Furr wanted Eyewitness News to stress that this is not a mandatory policy at her school, but she said it is supported by the faculty advisory chair and other teacher leaders and the teachers they represent.