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Multiple sources confirm Wyandanch reassignments related to pending investigation into grade-fixing allegations

Multiple sources in the school district have confirmed to News 12 that the reassignments are related to a pending investigation into allegations of grade-fixing on state exams.

Rachel Yonkunas

Sep 14, 2023, 10:10 PM

Updated 306 days ago

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Questions are swirling around the recent reassignments of two top administrators at the Milton L. Oliver Middle School in Wyandanch.
Multiple sources in the school district have confirmed to News 12 that the reassignments are related to a pending investigation into allegations of grade-fixing on state exams, potentially impacting hundreds of grades.
Middle school principal Dr. Shannon Burton and assistant principal Kimberly Clinton have been placed on paid home reassignment, multiple sources confirm.
"As this is a matter of personnel, the district has no additional comments," Interim Superintendent Arlise Carson said in a statement.
Allegations of a massive grade-fixing scandal first surfaced over the summer. Team 12 Investigates has learned that a board member tried calling a special meeting three times in July. Only one resolution was on the agenda.
The resolution would direct special counsel to conduct an investigation into allegations, which would be more fully discussed during executive session, regarding test administration and scoring of New York state exams at the Wyandanch High School and Milton L. Oliver Middle School.
It also called for a report on the investigation to be presented to the board for review.
Team 12 Investigates confirms that none of the meetings moved forward because the majority of trustees never showed up. The meetings were canceled due to conflicts in trustees' schedules, the district clerk said.
The resolution has not been brought up since at any other board meeting. It was initially presented on the agenda of a special meeting on July 11, less than two weeks after the middle school officially entered good academic standing.
The school bumped up its status after spending nine years on the state Education Department's low-performance list. In March, Burton touted their academic improvements and accelerated coursework. Nearly six months later, both he and his second-in-command are off their posts.
The state Education Department said they take all allegations of misconduct against educators extremely seriously but would not confirm or deny the existence of any investigation. Part 83 of the commissioner's regulations authorizes the Education Department to investigate allegations of a lack of good moral character lodged against certified educators, a NYSED representative said. The reassignment of administrative staff in and of itself does not constitute grounds for intervention by the state Education Department.
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