WASHINGTON - The final report on the investigation into grade-fixing and fraud allegations to boost the graduation rate in Prince George's County Public Schools is expected to be finished on Tuesday.
Hours before the state-ordered investigation is complete, FOX 5 has learned that a high school employee contacted investigators claiming that she and others at her school were told to change students’ records before investigators came in.
FOX 5 obtained the email she sent to the firm hired by the state to conduct the investigation.
She says she and others spent “all day and all night” working on records pertaining to seniors’ credit tallies. This employee explains that higher-ups at her school were tipped off to what investigators were looking for by an employee at another high school where investigators had already visited. She says the word had gotten around that investigators were focusing on the last two years of credit tallies for graduating seniors.
“Most schools had not done [the tallies], so schools were calling around to other schools to get them done before you all came,” the email reads.
She went on to say “numerous” graduates from the last two years were found not to have the credits to graduate.
The employee who wrote the email did not want to be named and did not even want her high school named, fearing she would be identified.
She sent the email to investigators as well as school board members Edward Burroughs and David Murray, who are among the board members who requested the state investigation.
“It's clear that a lot of different high schools were talking to each about what investigators were looking for,” Murray said.
D.C.-based consulting firm Alvarez and Marsal was hired to investigate fraud allegations after Murray, Burroughs and two other board members contacted Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan saying they have evidence of "widespread, systemic corruption” in the school system to boost the graduation rate.
“The fact that records were altered shows not only that, one, the initial accusations were true, but what lengths they are willing to go to cover it up. And so really I think it proves that the initial accusations were accurate,” Murray said.
A spokesperson for Prince George’s County Public Schools says the administration was not aware of these specific allegations.
Prince George's County Public Schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell has continued to deny the claims of systemic fraud to boost the graduation rate, and has called them politically motivated.
The final report from investigators is due on Tuesday. FOX 5 is told it is on track to be finished by the close of business, but it is not clear when it will be made public.
FOX 5's coverage on grade-fixing allegations in Prince George's County Public Schools: