- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 26, 2003

The Montgomery County teachers who gave A’s to a student who never attended Sherwood High School will face no disciplinary action for their mistake.

“I think the embarrassment that the school and the teachers have undergone in the past two weeks is discipline enough,” said Brian Porter, spokesman for Montgomery County public schools.

Mr. Porter said yesterday that an inquiry by the school system’s Office of School Performance included no recommendation to discipline the two teachers.

The inquiry began three weeks ago, after Lauren Lee of Olney received an interim report card from the school with A’s in geometry and physical education.

However, the 14-year-old student attends Good Counsel High School, a parochial school in Wheaton.

The incident has raised questions about the integrity of the school’s grading system and about whether teachers were paying close enough attention.

The inquiry also states that the mistake was caused by human and computer errors, school officials said.

The erroneous grades were given by geometry teacher Amy Buckner and physical education teacher Thomas Crowell, school officials said. The teachers could not be reached for comment yesterday afternoon.

“Obviously, the youngster’s name should have never been on the enrollment list,” said Mr. Porter, who spoke on behalf of the Office of School Performance.

The office consists of one coordinating community superintendent and six community superintendents.

Susan Marks is the community superintendent who oversees the school in Sandy Spring, and Donald H. Kress is the system’s coordinating superintendent.

“The teachers knew she was not in their classes, but somehow during the completion of grades an error occurred,” Mr. Porter said.

In a letter sent last week to Sherwood High School parents, Principal James E. Fish stated the student’s name never was removed from an enrollment list, though administrators knew she did not attend the school.

Lauren was in the county public-school system for two years. She attended Rosa M. Parks Middle School in Olney but transferred to Good Counsel instead of attending Sherwood like most of her classmates.

Lauren’s mother told school officials last year that her daughter would attend Good Counsel, but her academic records were sent to Sherwood and her name remained on enrollment lists used for the report cards.

The student’s report card also included a grade in art class of “NC” for no credit and an “E” for incomplete in physics.

“I want to assure you that we view this incident as very serious,” Mr. Fish wrote in the letter to parents. “We will take steps to improve and safeguard the record-keeping practices involved in the management of our enrollment and grading information.”


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