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Teachers in Casa Grande say they’re being pressured to give failing students a passing grade

Posted at 10:26 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 14:57:04-04

CASA GRANDE, AZ — Teachers in the Casa Grande Union High School District say the superintendent wants them to give passing grades to dozens of students so they can graduate from high school next week.

Teacher and whistleblower Donna Telles says the grades of an estimated 50 students from Vista Grande and Casa Grande high schools will be changed to ‘P’ or passing.

“There’s been a request made by our administrators of our teachers to go back into historically archived grades of seniors who would otherwise not pass and change their grades,” Telles said.

Telles, who teaches at Vista Grande High School and serves as a union representative, says teachers are being asked to change the grades against their will. “Teachers are being required to do things that they know are not right. They’re afraid of not doing it for fear of being termed insubordinate and terminated.”

“First of all, I have to say it’s not true.” Casa Grande Union High School District Superintendent Dr. Anne Battle Ed.D says no teacher is being forced to change a grade against their will. Battle says the decision to modify grades is in response to the challenges students faced during COVID when schools were closed and the availability of extra instruction was limited. “To give kids a ‘P’ which is passing, it doesn’t change grades but allows them to get a ‘P’ for a course they have attempted and failed.”

Donna Telles plans to meet with district lawyers prior to Tuesday evening’s Governing Board meeting. The Board may take up the matter in executive session. The superintendent will be in that meeting. She makes no apologies for the grade changes.

“If a teacher decides to revisit a grade for whatever reason he or she chooses to do for that child to pursue life after graduation, I’m all about it.”