• News Release: Statement from PGCPS CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell on State Audit of Graduation Rates

    November 3, 2017
    For Immediate Release
    CONTACT:
    Office of Communications
    301-952-6001

    Auditor's Report Identifies Several Errors in High Schools; No Evidence of Systemwide Fraud, Direction, or Intimidation to Change Grades

     

    UPPER MARLBORO-- On June 27, 2017, a majority of the Prince George’s County Board of Education and I asked the State Superintendent of Schools to audit the high school graduation rates throughout Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS).

    The Maryland State Department of Education’s performance audit findings released today do not support allegations of systemic direction to change grades to artificially increase graduation rates. The auditors also found no financial incentives to change grades, and no evidence of system-wide intimidation or fraud related to the allegations of grade manipulation.

    I want to thank State Superintendent Karen Salmon and the auditing firm of Alvarez & Marsal Public Sector Services for their professionalism throughout this process. The auditors were charged with conducting a complete, thorough and exhaustive investigation and I appreciate the Prince George’s County Public Schools’ employees, parents and community members who candidly shared their experiences with the auditors.

    The audit did identify several errors made at many schools, these findings deeply concern me.

    We will use these findings to strengthen the school system’s policies, procedures, processes and practices. Many of the issues revealed in the state’s audit will be resolved with clearer policies, consistent adherence to official procedures, better use of technology, improved and more frequent training, and better monitoring and communication. It is clear that we need to act with urgency to reform longstanding practices in our schools.

    Some of these issues will require assistance with implementation from an independent third-party. In a year, I will request a second independent review to ensure our progress. I am confident that we will address these issues and demonstrate meaningful improvement.

    As a school system, we will continue our march forward with transparency and accountability.

    Academic integrity will be the cornerstone of our work.

    Ensuring that more students earn a high school diploma remains the right goal. The promise of education in Prince George’s County is for every high school diploma to validate the knowledge and skills needed for college, the workplace and a successful life. I am committed to working with the Board of Education so that every child achieves that promise. 

    For more information, download the Performance Audit Fact Sheet.

     

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    Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS), one of the nation's 25 largest school districts, has 208 schools and centers, more than 130,000 students and nearly 19,000 employees. Under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell, the school system serves a diverse student population from urban, suburban and rural communities located in the Washington, DC suburbs. PGCPS is nationally recognized for innovative programs and initiatives that provide students with unique learning opportunities, including arts integration, environmental and financial literacy, and language immersion.