Prince George’s County Public Schools leaders told to go through district following grade audit

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. – The grade audit report of Prince George’s County Public Schools ordered by the governor and released Friday has led to another battle between school board members.

On Monday, school board member Edward Burroughs shared a letter he received from the board addressed to him and David Murray urging the pair to share any additional information relevant to the probe with the board instead of releasing it publicly. The indication in the letter suggests ‘going public’ with new information would violate their duty as board members and punishable.

“We just received a letter that basically said if we didn't turn over our whistleblowers [the board] would refer us for action,” said Burroughs. “Under no circumstances will we betray the trust of those teachers, assistant principals, guidance counselors and principals that confided in us.”

Burroughs defended the move made in May to avoid taking complaints about grade fixing directly to the Superintendent and the board.

“We have no confidence in their leadership or their integrity, frankly, and that's why we had to make it public,” said Burroughs.

School Board Chairman Segun Eubanks said the report was definitive, putting to rest allegations that the school district had a system in place to inflate grades to improve graduation rates.

The study did find that 5 percent of graduates didn’t earn their diploma and another 20 percent graduated but no accurate record could be found to substantiate those graduations.

Prince George’s County Public Schools is the only district in Maryland that has been examined in this way meaning there’s no way to determine how the results compare to other districts.

“We're the only one who have been through this unprecedented audit and I've called on the governor and others to take a look at what else is going on in this state,” said Eubanks.

Eubanks said the school district is committed to fixing errors found in the report but any information that could help identify solutions should go to the district.

“Parents should be assured that the system is working with integrity and working to meet their needs,” said Eubanks.