An 'A' in Fraud | Features | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

An 'A' in Fraud 

It was too good -- and too bad -- to be true. For three years, investigators conclude, Manual Arts High School administrators graduated ineligible students and tampered with students' grades

Wednesday, Jul 17 2002

Page 5 of 5

It's anyone's guess whether pure arrogance or fear of liability is the greater motivating factor. But if this episode represents L.A. Unified's standard of public accountability, then don't put much faith in school-board claims of reform.

One school staffer, not speaking for attribution, alleged that hundreds of ineligible grads were let through. In last year's Weekly article, another teacher, Curt Ullman, said a staffer showed him about 30 doctored student files. School-attendance summaries, which list the number of graduates, contain an intriguing correction for last year. The number of Manual Arts graduates was reduced from 513 to 434. (Current Manual Arts principal Ed Robillard said it's not unusual for these numbers to be adjusted.) At one point, district spokeswoman Brady estimated that about 20 ineligible students had graduated and that 14 students had grades improperly altered. She later backed away from these numbers and declined to offer others.

"Why not inform us?" asked senior Omar Hernandez, who thought highly of both Greer and Anton. "They need to inform us what's going on around the school. I want to know."

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