Education News

Transcript Mistakes Jeopardize Graduation For Hundreds Of Students In Spring ISD

This week, the superintendent of the Spring Independent School District started meeting with parents and students to explain and apologize.

Superintendent Watson
Superintendent Dr. Rodney Watson visits with a Spring ISD high school student on the first day of school. Photo courtesy of Spring ISD.

 

The widespread mismanagement of student records in Spring ISD has already seen some immediate repercussions.

  • Three administrators have resigned.
  • State investigators are taking a closer look.
  • Students are scrambling for credits so they can graduate on time.

It’s also still not clear how the problems happened.

“What we can say is that we know that these are the result of adult errors and their poor decision-making. And it should not have happened and it will not happen again,” said Sheleah Reed, a spokeswoman for Spring ISD.

So far, the district’s internal probe has revealed a variety of errors. Some students received credit for courses they never took. Other kids took courses over again when they already passed.

The district’s investigation started after administrators with the Texas Education Agency alerted late last year that there were problems with students’ exam data. DeEtta Culbertson, a spokeswoman with the TEA, said state investigators are reviewing the district’s continuing investigation. It’s possible that could be sent to a special accreditation review.

“There are a series of sanctions that the commissioner can apply. It can vary from corrective-action plans, monitors, conservators. But again, it’s too early to speculate what could happen,” Culbertson said.

In Spring, counselors are working with students to fix the problems now, for example taking classes online or doing credit-recovery after school.

“Making those changes now can help many students get to the point where they can walk across the stage on May 30. That’s the goal — the goal is for as many students to be there as possible on the day of graduation,” Reed said.

She said it’s not clear how many students might have to stay for summer school in order to graduate.

Overall, about a third of the Class of 2015 has been affected by the transcript and scheduling problems at Spring’s three comprehensive high schools: Dekaney, Spring and Westfield.

For more information about community meetings about the issues, visit Spring ISD’s website here.

 

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Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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