The state needs to step in and do its own investigation into Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ online credit recovery program, said Mark Johnson, North Carolina superintendent of public instruction.
The district, which is conducting its own investigation, is under fire for allegedly allowing students with failing grades to graduate.
Students from Butler High School enrolled in online credit recovery classes two weeks before the end of the 2019 school year, according to WCNC reports.
One teacher who remained anonymous while speaking to WCNC for fear of retaliation, said teachers were approached two to three days before graduation and told to put failing students in the credit recovery program. They “miraculously” finished the course in two days, the teacher said.
“It makes you question everything that you got into education for," the teacher told WCNC.
Records obtained by WCNC show that some students in the credit recovery program spent less than 10 minutes in some courses. Most started and finished the same day.
CMS Deputy Superintendent Matthew Hayes said students in the online credit recovery program don’t have to make up an entire course. They only need to retake the subject matter not yet mastered. He said the allegation, if founded, is specific to one or two schools, and that the district has many checks and balances in place.
One Rocky River High School senior who attended in-school credit recovery for a semester said it's not right that some students were able to graduate after receiving credits they didn't earn. Charles Gerald said he stayed after school three hours a day, two days a week to get back on track so he can graduate this year.
As for the students who were allegedly handed credits for simply logging on, it won’t pay off in the long run, Gerald said.
“If you’re just going through the program and not learning anything; you just copy and paste your whole life. You aren’t really going to go anywhere, are you?” he said.