Providence graduation inflation? Allegations continue to worry district

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Dozens expressed concerns at a community forum about continued allegations of the graduation inflation in the Providence School Department.

District leaders, teachers, and community members feared for the wellbeing of the state and students if the allegations are true.

“Just imagine a student in a couple weeks earning credits in ELA, Algebra I, Algebra II, precalculus, and geometry,” said Ty’Relle Stephens, Providence school board member. “It’s ridiculous. There’s no way students can earn over 15 credits in a couple weeks.”

Superintendent Javier Montañez said the allegations are inflammatory. The department continues it’s own investigation.

Stephens said he and two other school board members have fielded anonymous complaints that the inflation occurred. They have since reached out to the Rhode Island Department of Education for an independent investigation.

“We cannot push black and brown students out of the district, not college and career ready. So, that’s where my concern lies. I’m upset because this is literally criminal,” Stephens explained. “Teachers didn’t approve this. This was the superintendent’s office. When I say accountability, whoever approved students — 35 students– earning 15 credits needs to go.”

Topics such as the lockdown of Nathanael Green Middle School and staffing shortages across the district were also discussed Thursday.

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