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Performance Audit Set for Prince George’s Graduation Rates
Firm to Deliver Final Report by End of October
BALTIMORE – A Washington, D.C.-based firm has been awarded a contract to undertake a comprehensive audit of the Prince George’s County Public School (PGCPS) system graduation rates. Alvarez & Marsal Public Sector Services will begin work on the audit immediately and deliver a final report by October 31.
A Request for Proposals (RFP) for the audit was issued in July 2017 following a request from Governor Larry Hogan to investigate allegations of grade manipulation in the system. The allegations were raised by members of the PGCPS Board of Education and the entire Prince George’s County House Delegation in letters to the Governor.
“Ensuring that all Maryland children have access to a world-class education is a top priority of my administration, and I am deeply troubled by these allegations regarding one of our school systems, which have now been brought to my attention by multiple sources,” wrote Governor Hogan in a June 25, 2017 letter to State Board of Education Board President Andrew Smarick. “I am hereby requesting that the State Board of Education take immediate steps to being a complete, thorough, and exhaustive investigation into these allegations.”
PGCPS Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kevin Maxwell followed the Governor’s request for an investigation, and pledged that the system would fully cooperate with the process. “Our students and alumni deserve to embark on the next phases of their lives with full confidence in their diplomas from Prince George’s County Public Schools,” Dr. Maxwell said in a letter to Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools.
Alvarez & Marsal has extensive experience in audit and advisory services in the public sector arena, including performing K-12 organization audits and identifying fraud and data manipulation in educational environments.
The Maryland State Board of Education retains oversight over local school system adherence to graduation requirements. Board members are confident that through the audit process the Board can determine if any of the identified issues occurred in Prince George’s County schools, and will make a final determination based on the audit report.