Thursday, October 06, 2016

4 Chicago Public high schools dramatically inflated student attendance: IG

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
Administrators at four Chicago public high schools inflated annual student attendance rates over the last four years by systematically falsifying daily attendance records, making it appear as if dramatically more students attended class than actually did, according to a CPS inspector general report obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

“The schools engineered the appearance of significantly improved attendance rates,” the inspector general said in the report to be released Thursday.

The schools, on the South and West sides, boosted annual attendance rates by about 10 to 20 percentage points, allegedly through fraud. While the report discovered the fraud for different time periods at the schools, the earliest it found problems was the 2012-2013 school year, the latest 2015-2016.

The report comes as CPS touts record-high 2016 attendance rates, casting doubt on the accuracy of CPS’ data. Attendance growth in recent years has been driven largely by improvements at high schools, particularly at low-performing schools.

Citing the systemic fraud, Inspector General Nicholas Schuler recommends firing two principals: Tyese Sims, former principal at Orr High School and now at Bradwell Elementary, and Trista Harper, Manley High School principal. Neither returned calls for comment.

The report didn’t name schools or staff, but the Sun-Times identified them and confirmed the names with a source close to the investigation. The two other schools are Team Englewood and Marshall. The principals allegedly involved in the fraud at those schools are no longer CPS employees.

Schuler delivered his report on June 30, but CPS has yet to take disciplinary action for current employees. A spokesman said CPS would proceed with discipline, including potential termination, if the allegations are substantiated.
Chicago Public Schools: a RICO enterprise to rip-off taxpayers. Isn't time to shut down government schools?