A 2011 letter recommending the termination of a Dallas school principal who was recently hired by D.C. Public Schools accused her of “unethical and unlawful conduct.” It said that she directed some teachers not to teach science, music and social studies, to falsify grades in those subjects and to focus on math and reading in preparation for standardized testing.
Roslyn Carter, who had been principal of Field Elementary School in Dallas until last year, was recently hired in the District to take over at Garfield Elementary School in Anacostia.
D.C. schools spokesman Melissa Salmanowitz said system officials are reviewing what happened in Dallas. She has not responded to questions about whether anyone in the D.C. system was aware of the accusations against Carter in Dallas when she was hired, or who actually hired her.
The Dallas Morning News reported late last year that Carter had denied many of the accusations made against her in a report that was undertaken by investigators in the Dallas Independent School District after an anonymous tip was received early last year. The report said that Carter was obsessed with ensuring that her students — the vast majority of them Hispanic — passed the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). Her school had earned the state’s highest rating, “exemplary,” for two years, in part based on the results of that test. (Third-graders take the math and reading portions of the assessment.)
The letter, dated Aug. 18, 2011, and obtained by the Dallas Morning News, recommends Carter’s termination for the following reasons (and you can click on the entire letter below):
More specifically, the recommendation to terminate your employment is being made for the following specific reasons and conduct, all of which individually and collectively violate ... District policies:
1. You directed and caused false school records to be created relating to teachers of record, grades of students for subjects not taught, and grades from teachers for students they did not teach. Specifically, you violated District policy by directing that the state and District approved curriculum for science, music and social studies not be taught so as to allow more time for teaching mathematics and reading in preparation for the TAKS testing. Namely, throughout the year you instructed the music, science and social studies teachers to teach mathematics instead of music, science and social studies and directed these teachers to submit grades for those subjects. Your conduct directly denied students access to state mandated instruction in enrichment subjects/curriculum.
2. To facilitate the above referenced policy violations you directed teachers to share their gradespeed logon passwords with other teachers and instructed the teachers to enter grades for students for which they were not the teacher of record and or teaching.
3. You abused your supervisory authority, violated the terms of the your contract [sic] and violated educator ethics by directing and facilitating the falsification of student attendance and grade records and directing your teachers to violate District and state mandated curriculum requirements by pulling students out of enrichment classes/subjects and requiring them to receive mathematics tutoring.
4. You required a teacher to use his planning period to tutor students in mathematics.
5. You required a grade weights scale contrary to that set out in District policy.
6. In order to conceal your unethical and unlawful conduct you discouraged teachers from reporting potential district policy violations to the Office of Professional Responsibility.
7. In sum, your conduct is inconsistent with the continuance of your employee relationship with the District and constitutes good cause.
The letter was signed by Luis Tamez, executive director of human services of the Dallas Independent School District, and marked as hand-delivered Aug. 18, 2011. It said that Carter was placed on administrative leave with pay, pending a request for a hearing that had to be made within 15 days. I don’t know if she ever asked for a hearing. You can see the full letter by clicking here.
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