Mercedes Schneider Reports the story of the New Orleans charter school that awarded diplomas to its seniors, but had to revoke 49% of them after a whistleblower pointed out that these students lacked the credits needed to graduate. 

She writes:

Just shy of half of the Class of 2019 at John F. Kennedy High School at Lake Area did not meet graduation requirements and are therefore not eligible to receive the diplomas that they may have expected to receive when they participated in a graduation ceremony on May 17, 2019. (I write “may have expected” because at the time of the ceremony, both students and the general public knew the school was under investigation for grade fixing.)

That’s 87 out of 177 graduates, or 49 percent (which, by the way, indicates a four-year graduation rate that is at best 51 percent.)

Scandals like this do not begin and end in a single year. And this scandal was not uncovered by state or district oversight. Like too many charter school scandals nationwide, revelation of what you will see described by the board president of the charter organization (New Beginnings Schools Foundation) as “malfeasance and negligence that had for years gone undetected” depended for its detection upon a whistleblower.

How sad for the students that no one warned them. Some will make up their credits in summer school. Others are so far behind that they will have to repeat the year.