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TUSD Board member files for state probe into alleged grade-changing

Posted at 5:55 PM, Jun 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-30 05:59:12-04
A Tucson Unified Governing Board member has called for a state investigation into alleged grade changing by a Pueblo high school administrator.
Highly credible sources tell KGUN9 and documents show an administrator violated state law and changed failing grades of at least 4 students -- without the teacher's consent. State law dictates only the teacher and the Governing Board have the power to change grades.
KGUN9 contacted all five board members for a response to the grade-changing allegations. Only minority board members Mark Stegeman and Michael Hicks contacted kGUN9. 
Hicks has already taken action. He's officially filed complaints with the Arizona Department of Education and the Attorney General's office because he said the law is very clear.
Hicks said, "This has chilling effects on every teacher in this district. Because that's telling every teacher in this district if we don't like the way you did something we're going to change it. And we're going to make up excuses why we're changing it."
Principal Auggie Romero took to Facebook and denied he did anything wrong. Although we have not identify the administrator or the teacher because our sources intensely fear district retaliation, Romero claimed a substitute teacher suppressed the curriculum -- violating district policy -- and all parties, including (Romero's) supervisor, agreed to change 4 students failing grades.
But the documents we received don't match that scenario. The sources tell KGUN9 and documents show the teacher in KGUN9's investigation did not suppress curriculum and did not give consent to changing grades.
Hicks said, "There was no investigation done. The superintendent indicated to me there was an investigation done and he had all the facts and he's not given us the facts."
"I haven't heard anyone deny that happened," said Governing Board member Mark Stegeman. He's also asked for details and documents from the district. In a letter Stegeman wrote his constituents, he said Sanchez explained to the board that "there is nothing" to the allegations. 
Sanchez's full statement:
There really isn't a lot to report. Dr. Romero consulted Dr. Morado and secondary leadership for guidance. Dr. Romero was advised the substitute teacher could not deny students grades for being tardy. The substitute teacher was advised that the students needed to have their work graded and counted. That was it. Beyond this, there is nothing. The principal acted within his authority and with guidance from his supervisor. HT

Stegeman wants an internal investigation. "Meaning that we get a neutral party to look into it and interview anyone relevant. And the Governing Board would get a report," he said. "It's a serious matter because it infringes on the teachers' rights of assigning grades and it's a serious matter because it affects the perceived integrity of what we're doing."