Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson On Grade Changing Scandal

Local News

Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson promised results and reforms after the fallout of a major grading scandal in the district.

Superintendent Hopson spoke for the first time after an independent audit showed grade changing at nine Shelby County Schools, including Trezevant.

It’s unclear right now if more employees will lose their jobs. There is an ongoing investigation into how and why so many grades were switched, and who made the switches.

The superintendent admits this issue is a major setback.

“The best way I can describe the way I’m feeling is really disgusted and frustrated,” says Hopson.

Hopson didn’t sugarcoat the impact a grade changing scandal has on the district he leads.

“It just creates a loss public trust and erodes at the confidence parents place on us every day,” he says.

An independent audit recently uncovered abnormally high numbers of grade changes at nine SCS schools.

A separate investigation also uncovered 53 Trezevant students received unearned diplomas, spanning several years, based on intentional grade changes from failing to passing. That led to a secretary’s resignation and the SCS board’s recent firing of football coach Teli White.

“When you have these bad apples, it has such a negative impact,” says Hopson.

The investigation into the eight other high schools with an unusually high number grade changes will pinpoint why grades were flipped and if such changes were legitimate.

“Let’s see if there’s evidence that those grade changes at those schools is properly documented because if it is, that’s one thing, but if it’s not, it’s another,” says Hopson.

The superintendent said other grade changing safeguards are already underway.

“What we do now is we revise our grade changing form. It has to be signed off by many people,” says Hopson. “We’ve also done a full, wholesale training for all of our financial secretaries or administrative personnel.”

Superintendent Hopson said he never considered resigning after this grade changing crisis came front and center, and told Local 24 he addressed these issues quickly and held people accountable.

He said coach White will soon have a due process hearing in wake of his firing by the SCS school board earlier this month. 

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