Houston ISD is investigating more than 70 cases of falsified records in which students were recorded as transfers when they were actually dropouts, Superintendent Terry Grier told Hair Balls this morning. "It appears as if some folks were involved in fabricating requests for student records," he said.
The district has already verified many of the cases and is focusing its attention on two district employees who are associated with Kashmere High School and Key Middle School, Grier said. Yes, the same two schools that multitasked bad behavior to entirely new levels just keep on giving the administration fits.
Here's how it worked, according to Grier, adopting the persona of an employee after a student didn't show up at school for several weeks:
"I knew you had dropped out, I knew that. But versus going to get you and trying to get you back in school, I fabricated a letter saying 'Please send me a copy of [the student's] records.' Then I would take that record I had fabricated, drop it in your file and didn't have to count you as a dropout."
Instead, Grier said, the student would go down as a "transfer" out of HISD.
"And we actually have evidence of where people went in and it appears they cut and pasted copies of that logo from another school, put it on that letterhead and we are investigating that right now," he says. "We have found over 70 of those situations and we are now verifiying from different schools around the country that in fact that is not your logo and that in fact this is not [an official from another school's ] signature requesting this and that will have a dramatic effect on a school's dropout rate."
Grier said it appeared the situation was "ongoing."
"Right now it's those two schools; that's the only evidence we had," he said.
"We have verified a number but we haven't verified them all. We've got to verify all of them to make sure the dropout information is correct."
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.