In spring 2006, teachers' records for an 11th-grade boy at University Preparatory Charter Academy in East Oakland showed an F and five D's.
His report card for the same period featured three D's and three C's.
His transcript -- the one received by the California State University campuses that accepted him -- glowed with three A's and three B's.
That's pretty blatant, and there are more examples in the article.
Let's skip the moral argument or right and wrong for a moment, because anyone who would do what was reported obviously would not be swayed by such arguments. Let's try a completely practical, utilitarian approach.
Why would school officials change grades? One possible reason is for the school's stats to look good. No one, in the light of day, will try to defend such a proposition. Even if someone were to try, changing a teacher's grade is against California ed code. It's illegal. No argument there.
So there's only one reason left that I can come up--we want to help the boy get into college. If you only fe-e-e-e-e-e-l, instead of think, I'm sure you can justify such behavior as doing a good deed for some poor, downtrodden soul. But is a good deed really being done? Is there any reason to believe that someone who gets D's and F's in high school is going to be able to succeed at collegiate academics? Isn't it far more likely that the student will get to college and fail there--at great emotional and financial cost? Isn't the school, then, just setting this student up for failure?
If there's a good answer to that argument, one that would justify violating the law by changing grades, I'm listening.
You know what would be a far better way to help the boy get into college? Teach him the material he isn't currently learning, material in which he's earning D's and F's.