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High School in DC That Sent Every Grad to College Exposed as Fraud

High School in DC That Sent Every Grad to College Exposed as Fraud

“I’ve never seen kids in the 12th grade that couldn’t read and write”

This school sold out the students by ignoring excessive absences and overlooking a lack of basic skills. How many of these students will last in college?

NPR reported:

What Really Happened At The School Where Every Graduate Got Into College

Brian Butcher, a history teacher at Ballou High School, sat in the bleachers of the school’s brand-new football field last June watching 164 seniors receive diplomas. It was a clear, warm night and he was surrounded by screaming family and friends snapping photos and cheering.

It was a triumphant moment for the students: For the first time, every graduate had applied and been accepted to college. The school is located in one of Washington, D.C.’s poorest neighborhoods and has struggled academically for years with a low graduation rate. For months, the school received national media attention, including from NPR, celebrating the achievement.

But all the excitement and accomplishment couldn’t shake one question from Butcher’s mind:

How did all these students graduate from high school?

“You saw kids walking across the stage, who, they’re nice young people, but they don’t deserve to be walking across the stage,” Butcher says.

An investigation by WAMU and NPR has found that Ballou High School’s administration graduated dozens of students despite high rates of unexcused absences. We reviewed hundreds of pages of Ballou’s attendance records, class rosters and emails after a district employee shared the private documents. Half of the graduates missed more than three months of school last year, unexcused. One in five students was absent more than present — missing more than 90 days of school…

Teachers say when many of these students did attend school, they struggled academically, often needing intense remediation.

“I’ve never seen kids in the 12th grade that couldn’t read and write,” says Butcher about his two decades teaching in low-performing schools from New York City to Florida. But he saw this at Ballou, and it wasn’t just one or two students.


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But, but, we did it for the kids. They were soo happy. Just like Lake Woe-be-gone, everyone of them was above average. How dare you hurt their self-esteem.

I still haven’t seen any news outlet covering this ask the most basic questions.

Now that we know that about half the diplomas are fraudulent, will they be rescinded?

If they are, is the school prepared for the onslaught of lawsuits that will surely follow?

If any of these student have been accepted into a college or university, have those institutions been informed of the fraud and will those acceptance letters be revoked?

…and the most important one…

Will anyone ever be fired or jailed over this (not holding my breath)?

Why am I not surprised? After all, this is Washington DC where convicted crack-smoking whore-mongers get elected and then re-elected as Mayor, and eventually get statues made in their honor.

Now that we know most of these diplomas are fraudulent, I have a simple question: what if any incentives did the teachers and administrators of this school receive for having such “success”? If such incentives were paid, will the district attorney make a criminal complaint for fraud? Will the school district launch a civil suit to demand repayment? I expect the answer to be the same as almost any other case of government employee malfeasance: there will be no consequences for them.

    healthguyfsu in reply to randian. | December 5, 2017 at 6:30 am

    If it’s anything like the systems I’ve seen, the only “incentives” teachers got was not having their jobs threatened. They were likely strong-armed into that intense remediation beyond their job descriptions.

    pilgrim1949 in reply to randian. | December 5, 2017 at 9:02 am

    From news snippets I’ve seen in the past week living here in Northern Virginia, DC teachers can receive quite sizable bonuses for the “performance” of their pupils on tests (and subsequent promotion to the next grade level), hence the pressure to pad/inflate grades. (Not unlike the perverse VA system’s bonuses to execs who, likewise, shafted patient care in pursuit of $$$$$$.)

    As the saying goes, “You will see more of what you subsidize, less of what you don’t.”

    Between pressure from the teacher’s unions and pressure to promote, the results are undereducated and underprepared “graduates.”

    All in all a win-sin: a win for the teachers’ unions and a win for Dems — more uneducated (easy to bamboozle) and dependent future voters.

      healthguyfsu in reply to pilgrim1949. | December 5, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      Well, this was DC, not NoVA and NoVA is its own little entity of spoiled, entitled “bratness” that I see on a daily basis now in nearby universities.

      It doesn’t surprise me one bit that NoVA teachers kissed their kids’ asses after the way I’ve seen their alumni act in college.

Mmm, mmm, mmm, the content of their character is well known.