The state of Maryland has hired a company to evaluate graduation rates in Prince George's County Public Schools after allegations that teachers and principals have inflated grades and ignored students' absences in order to boost the graduation rate.
The Maryland State Department of Education has awarded a contract to the D.C. company Alvarez & Marsal, the department announced Tuesday. The company will begin an audit immediately, the department said.
Gov. Larry Hogan requested earlier this summer that the state education department investigate possible wrongdoing.
“Ensuring that all Maryland children have access to a world-class education is a top priority of my administration, and I am deeply troubled by these allegations regarding one of our school systems, which have now been brought to my attention by multiple sources,” Hogan wrote in a June 25 letter to State Board of Education Board President Andrew Smarick.
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PGCPS CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell previously said it's false that the school system allows students to graduate even if their grades are too low or they have too many absences.
"From the beginning, I have maintained that politics lie at the root of these accusations. There has been no systemic effort to promote students in Prince George's County Public Schools who did not meet state graduation requirements in order to inflate our graduation rates. We look forward to collaborating with the Maryland State Department of Education to resolve this matter," he said in a statement he issued in June.
The audit of the school system's graduation rates is set to be complete by Oct. 31.