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TIMELINE: Making the Grade

Posted: 2:45 PM, Dec 12, 2015
Updated: 2019-01-10 21:25:56Z
Timeline: Metro Schools Investigation

This timeline details NewsChannel 5's investigation of the testing and grading practices of Metro Schools as it unfolded.

Nov. 2, 2015: Are Some Metro High Schools Faking The Grade?

For the first time, two educators are going public with their concerns -- and others, who did not want to go on camera, are telling similar stories to NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

Nov. 3, 2015: Whistleblowers' Lawyer Calls For Independent Investigation

This comes a day after the women went public with their concerns about testing procedures inside some Nashville high schools.

Nov. 3, 2015:  Expert Calls Metro Testing Policy 'Gamesmanship'

A policy developed by Metro Nashville Public Schools, supposedly to help students, may also help bureaucrats to mask the real problems in those schools.

Nov. 5, 2015:  Struggling School Creates Own Grading Policy

A struggling Nashville high school, under pressure to improve graduation rates, made up its own rules as it tried to help get students out the door. Also included: allegations that AP students "paid for an A, basically" and that an administrator helped a student cheat.

Nov. 6, 2015:  Metro Schools Promise Thorough Internal Review

If there's a problem, we'll get to the bottom of it. That was the message from Metro Schools officials.

Nov. 12, 2015:  Former 'Teacher Of The Year' Alleges Pressure To Change Grades

A former Teacher of the Year says she was ordered to change failing grades to passing as one Nashville high school faced pressures to improve graduation rates. (Includes audio recording.)

Nov. 16, 2015:  Lawmakers Want Answers About Metro Schools

A NewsChannel 5 investigation of Metro Schools now has state lawmakers demanding answers. And they're offering whistleblower protection to any school employees who come forward.

Nov. 23, 2015:  State Orders Review Of Metro Schools' Testing

The Tennessee Department of Education has now opened a review to find out if some of Metro Nashville's struggling high schools may have gamed the system to make their test scores look better.

Dec. 7, 2015:  Schools Face Lawsuit Over Testing Practices

A class-action lawsuit filed against Metro Schools claims students were pulled from classes that they needed to graduate just to boost the schools' test scores.

Dec. 8, 2015: Toni's Story: 'I Was Cheated Out Of My Education'

Now, for the first time, one student is telling her story. It's a story that raises even more questions about whether some struggling schools put scores above students.

Dec. 9, 2015:  Former Teacher 'Disillusioned' By School's Testing Practices

Another former Metro Schools teacher is raising questions about testing practices inside one Nashville high school -- practices that, she says, appear to have been designed to manipulate test scores.

Dec. 9, 2015:  Are Metro Schools Following State ACT Law?

NewsChannel 5 has uncovered new questions about how state-mandated ACT college admissions tests are administered by Metro Schools. Among the questions: who's really taking the tests?

Dec. 10. 2015:  Lawmakers Hear Testimony About Metro Schools' Testing Practices

Schools officials insisted that they've found no evidence of "gamesmanship," but they refused to answer specific questions about the district's testing practices.

Dec. 11, 2015:  WEB EXTRA: Metro Teacher Alleges Improprieties In ACT, EOC Tests

A Stratford High School teacher claims officials refused to allow certain students to take state-mandated ACT tests and "cherry picked" which students to take End-of-Course exams.

Dec. 15, 2015:  Nashville Chamber Sounds Alarm About Metro ACT Scores

Nashville's Chamber of Commerce is sounding the alarm over how Metro Schools are preparing students for college. But even the Chamber may not have the full story.

Jan. 4, 2016:  Metro School Board Members Ask For Independent Audit

After two months of controversy, members of Metro's school board are now calling for an independent review of the district's testing and grading practices.

Jan. 5, 2016:  Metro Schools Whistleblowers Face Internal Investigation

A group of Metro Schools whistleblowers now face an internal investigation after they raised questions about the district's testing practices.

Jan. 12, 2016:  WEB EXTRA: Principal Threatens Lawsuit Against Metro Schools

An attorney for a Nashville high school principal at the center of a testing and grading controversy has warned Metro Schools that she's prepared to sue over the district's failure to defend her -- or if the district takes any disciplinary action against her.

Jan. 12, 2016:  Alexis' Story: Pulled From Class She Was Passing, Told She Had Failed

Now, yet another family fears their student may have been a victim of questionable testing and grading practices inside a struggling Nashville high school.

Jan. 20, 2016:  Metro Schools Whistleblowers Reprimanded

Three Metro Schools whistleblowers have been reprimanded for improperly accessing and using student data as they sought to expose questionable testing and grading practices.

Feb. 1, 2016:  Educators Question MNPS Handling Of Immigrant Students

Did Metro Schools play a shell game to keep immigrant students from pulling down the district's test scores? That's just the latest question uncovered by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

Feb. 11, 2016:  Metro Argues Student Has No Right To Sue

If you feel you've been wronged. you have the right to sue -- that is unless you're a student suing Metro Schools. Metro lawyers now say a student at the center of a school testing controversy has no right to sue.

Feb. 12, 2016:  Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Metro Schools Over Testing Practices

A Davidson County chancellor has dismissed a class-action lawsuit filed by a Metro Schools student who claims she was pulled from a class to help manipulate her school's test scores.

April 1, 2016:  Whistleblowers Challenge MNPS Claims

Metro Schools officials falsely reported to the U.S. Department of Education that two whistleblowers provided NewsChannel 5 with confidential student information that appeared in a report that aired last November.

April 5, 2016:  MNPS Finds 'No Evidence Of Systemic Gamesmanship'

But that internal review did uncover suspicious patterns -- what the school system called "outliers" -- at one Nashville high school. And it found policies that need to be revised.

May 9, 2016:  Emails: Higher-Ups Involved In Questionable Testing Practices

Critics say it's "smoking gun" evidence. Emails obtained by NewsChannel 5 Investigates appear to show higher-ups inside Metro Schools directly involved in efforts to manipulate test scores.

May 9, 2016:  WEB EXTRA: Principal Slams MNPS Internal Review

A prominent Metro Schools principal has slammed an internal review of the district's testing practices, calling it "inaccurate" and "misleading."

May 12, 2016:  Email Suggests 'Changing Codes' For Suspensions

Have some Metro students been suspended -- kicked out of school -- for petty offenses? An internal e-mail, suggests that principals change discipline data -- so federal investigators don't start asking that question.

June 6, 2016:  State Report: No Rules Prohibiting Metro Testing Practices

Critics called it "gaming the system." But, in a just-released report, the Tennessee Department of Education says there were no rules prohibiting the testing games played by some Metro Schools.

July 14, 2016:  State Board Of Education Approves New Rules For Testing

Sweeping new rules have now been approved as a result of a News Channel 5 investigation of Metro Schools. The rules -- from the Tennessee State Board of Education -- limit how high schools across the state can use so-called "credit recovery" programs to let students earn credit on a computer.

Do you have information for our investigation?

Email: investigate@newschannel5.com

Related stories, documents:

NC5 Investigates: Making the Grade