Alabama state superintendent Michael Sentance today told the member of the state school board that the state’s graduation rate, third-best in the nation, was artificially inflated.
Sentance said he could not say what the rate actually is.
“In some cases, local school systems misstated student records and awarded class credit, resulting in diplomas that were not honestly earned,” read an official statement today by the Alabama Department of Education.
Board member Betty Peters said she felt “betrayed.” Board member Mary Scott Hunter said the entire department would now be under scrutiny. Other members were concerned about how to win back the trust of lawmakers and the public.
“I hate for people to betray my trust,” said board member Ella Bell.
“This is the hard part of the meeting,” Sentance told board members assembled in Montgomery. He said the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Education identified problems in a review that began earlier this year.