Atlanta schools investigate report that principal changed grades

The Atlanta school district is investigating allegations that a South Atlanta High School principal improperly changed student grades and retaliated against employees who reported the grade-changing.

While the investigation has been going on since the start of this school year, it’s unclear if parents were ever notified of the changes.

South Atlanta School of Law and Social Justice Principal Charlotte Davis signed off on at least 39 grade changes last spring, grade-change sheets obtained by WSBTV show. But Davis changed many more grades — several hundred — in a school with about 300 students, according to WSBTV.

All but one of the grades were increased to 70, the lowest passing grade.

In some cases, the new grades allowed students who earned numeric grades as low as 8 or 9 to pass.

Davis, who is still the school’s principal, did not respond to a message yesterday from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution seeking comment.

Most of the changes were made in June and July, shortly after Davis officially became principal.

The change forms were all signed by Davis and the school’s registrar. None were signed by classroom teachers. The registrar is not under investigation, district spokeswoman Kimberly Willis Green said.

On the change forms, the reason given for most of the changes was either the student had mastered the work or the teacher had failed to follow district grading policy.

District policy allows principals to change student grades in response to challenges “based on objective criteria.”

And it requires students’ parents and the central office to be informed of any grade changes.

APS has not yet answered questions about whether those notifications happened.

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