- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 6, 2001

A black administrator accused of altering the grades of minority students at a Fairfax County, Va. high school was allowed to retire with full benefits in November, The Washington Times has learned.
Sources close to the school system said Jean Jones, who was Lake Braddock Secondary School's guidance director, had retired with full benefits although it is suspected that she changed the grades of several minority students to help them get into college.
The Times first reported in February that Ms. Jones had been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the charges.
School system spokesman Paul Regnier yesterday said the investigation had been completed and action taken. He refused to divulge any details citing confidentiality issues, but confirmed that Ms. Jones had retired Nov. 1.
Lake Braddock Associate Principal Rod Manuel also declined to comment, but an employee at the school said Ms. Jones was no longer working there.
Although Mr. Regnier refused to say whether an administrator who altered grades would be allowed to retire with full benefits, he said the school system would "absolutely take action." Altering grades could lead to a teacher being fired, his or her license being revoked, or suspension, he said.
An investigation into the charges against Ms. Jones had failed to show clear proof, a knowledgeable source said, but added that "there was something going on," because she had been asked to retire.
"There was enough suspicion there to warrant acceptance of her resignation, but not enough to terminate her," the source said.
School system officials in February placed Ms. Jones on administrative leave pending investigation. The school system, which refused to divulge her name or other details, released a statement at that time saying there were "several allegations" that the administrator "changed a number of student grades in student permanent records."
The statement said an investigation was being conducted and if charges were confirmed, the administrator would be dismissed.
Ms. Jones' lawyer, W. Marcus Scriven, yesterday said she was not yet ready to comment on the issue. He did say, however, that Ms. Jones had filed a lawsuit against the Fairfax County Public School system for breaching the terms of her confidentiality agreement, but refused to give any details.
"The matter is pretty delicate there were do's and don'ts that the school system did not comply with," he said.
Mr. Regnier refused to comment on the lawsuit. Another source said a motion to dismiss the lawsuit was filed Nov. 30 and the lawsuit had been dismissed, although Mr. Scriven refused to confirm it.
One source close to the school system said teachers and administrators often came under pressure from parents to increase scores.
A former teacher in the county school system said an administrator altering grades was nothing new in Fairfax.
"Administrators change student grades all the time If social promotion is what Ms. Jones did, then that is consistent with what Fairfax County administrators have been doing for years," said Rick Nelson, former president of the Fairfax Federation of Teachers, one of the two county teachers unions.

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