Rise & Shine: Grade-changing investigation is over, but why is no one being held accountable?

Good morning and happy Friday!

Memphis school leaders were told this week that the investigation they commissioned nearly a year ago to look into excessive changes to students' grades at some Shelby County schools was inconclusive. Specifically, auditors said that so many of the forms that were supposed to be used by school staff to document grade changes were missing that is was impossible to determine whether grade tampering had occurred. Rather than take more taxpayer money, auditors advised school board members to suspend the probe. Further scrutiny, the board was told, would likely yield the same results anyway.

Board members accepted the advice and Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said he would rather focus the measures that have been put in the place — and that are continuing to be implemented  —  to prevent further transgressions.

Reporter Laura Kebede looks back at what prompted the investigation in the first place and examines why the district isn't pursuing the matter further.

— Jacinthia Jones, bureau chief




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GRADE CHANGES The decision by Shelby County Schools leaders to abruptly halt the investigation into possible grade tampering is prompting questions about whether anyone will be held accountable. Chalkbeat 

NECESSITY DRIVE Shelby County Schools employees and the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity will collect basic clothing and hygiene product today. The Commercial Appeal,  Local Memphis

FULL LOAD Some students riding the school bus home from a Knox County school sit in the aisle, according to one parent whose son has captured photos and video. Knoxville News Sentinel

WRONGFUL TERMINATION A lawsuit claims three former Knox County Schools employees were fired in retaliation for reporting actions by Knox County Schools Security Chief Gus Paidousis. Knoxville News Sentinel

SUPERINTENDENT HIRE John Carver, the former digital learning and innovation chief for Maury County Schools, signs a contract to lead Tullahoma City Schools. Columbia Daily Herald

SECOND LOOK A new study of the Obama administration’s multi-billion dollar School Improvement Grant program, deemed a failure in a federal review last year, suggests that the program may have had some successes after all. Chalkbeat

BIG DONOR  Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced on Twitter that he will be giving $2 billion to two major initiatives, including Montessori preschools in low-income communities. Chalkbeat

NO GUNS New York will not allow schools to use federal or state money to buy guns, according to a memo sent Wednesday by state education officials to school district leaders across New York.  Chalkbeat