Faking The Grade: Ballou students call for changes at school

Ballou High School in Washington, D.C. (ABC7 file photo)

More than two dozen Ballou High School students and graduates defended former principal Dr. Yetunde Reeves and called for loosening attendance policies Friday. This comes in light of a DC Public Schools, State Superintendent and DC Mayor’s Office investigation that came after ABC7 aired its Faking the Grade series of reports.

The Office of State Superintendent of Education confirmed to councilmembers Friday it is looking at attendance district-wide and reviewing all Credit Recovery classes. Their report is expected by Jan. 30, 2018.

DC Public Charter Schools also announced they will institute an attendance review before graduation to track students who are not meeting District requirements.

“Of course, Ballou is not a perfect school. It’s not a secret. We do have our difficulties. But especially with teachers quitting, it is difficult for students to believe in themselves and come to school,” said Ballou student Tatiana Robinson.

Ballou students and one teacher attending the DC Council Education Committee hearing supported the reinstatement of their former principal, transferred during the investigation. They also called for a loosening of attendance policies.

“The 80/20 policy states if a student misses a class period than the system automatically makes them absent for the entire day. This is absurd and hurts students who have additional responsibilities outside of school,” said Ballou teacher Shajena Cartagena.

DC Public School officials confirmed since ABC7 News began it’s “Faking The Grade” investigation that there is no longer a “tardy hall” on campus.

Formally, students were sent to a study hall if tardy. Students complained to councilmembers the tardy hall had no lessons available. Now with no tardy hall, teachers allow students to attend class no matter how late they arrive, and are marked tardy, not absent as before.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off