UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - For the first time on Thursday, the public had the opportunity to weigh-in after allegations of grade manipulation and a grade audit showed some students didn’t meet graduation requirements in Prince George’s County Public Schools.
FOX 5 caught up with Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday who said he was particularly upset about by the school district’s response to the audit.
“I was frankly not only outraged at the report findings, but I was somewhat outraged at the response again by Prince George’s County who still doesn’t seem to want to take it seriously,” Hogan said. “And the response was, ‘Well maybe 5,500 people may have had errors with their grades, but we think it's just clerical errors, crossing T’s and dotting I’s.’ I think it's much more serious and they better start taking it more seriously.”
Prince George's County School Board Member Edward Burroughs echoed Hogan’s sentiment, saying it was in the public’s interest for the district to be as transparent as possible.
"I do have a concern and that is if we can’t be honest about what’s in the report, if we’re only clinging on to talking points just to preserve our jobs, then how can we as the public have confidence that you have the integrity to fix what’s in the report,” Burroughs said. “I’m also hearing from constituents that if the top administration didn’t know this was taking place, that is a larger problem. How could you have so many graduates not meeting core requirements and no one at the top knows anything about it?”
Prince George’s Public Schools officials said they found Hogan’s comments concerning and wanted better dialogue with the governor.
"It's really unfortunate that the governor is making those comments at this time in particular in this year considering we have not heard from the governor and no one has spoken with the governor. We would like to provide him with the information if he’s interested because we’ve already started making changes,” said John White, the spokesperson for Prince George's County Public Schools.
Parents FOX 5 spoke with stated they were worried about their children not receiving the proper education they need to be successful in life.
"I want my kids to have a quality education,” parent Phyllis Wright said. “I don’t want them to just be passed over and thrown on because if we don’t give the kids the equipment that they need the next place for them is jail."