Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

NCLB Outrages

Principal urges teachers to pass failing students

SANTA ANA, California (AP) -- A high school principal asked teachers to reconsider the grades of failing seniors to help the school meet federal requirements under the No Child Left Behind law.

Saddleback High School Principal Esther Jones sent teachers a memo on Thursday asking them to reconsider the grades of 98 students, saying "please review your records for these students and determine if they would merit a grade of 'D' instead of a failure."

Jones added that the school needed 95 percent of its seniors to graduate to meet federal requirements. In fact, the school needs a graduation rate of 82.8 percent and will graduate nearly 84 percent of its 500 seniors on Wednesday, school officials said.

Jones did not return calls for comment.

Santa Ana Unified School District Superintendent Al Mijares has told teachers to ignore the memo.

"Principals and teachers are expected to hold the line with regards to grades that are necessary to the high school diploma, and under no circumstances will teachers be pressured to change a grade," he said.

School board President Audrey Yamagata-Noji said she needed to find out more about Jones, the incident, and her leadership of the school before determining whether discipline was necessary.



This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.