School grades suspect

The Baltimore Sun

Officials at Anne Arundel's Chesapeake High School are attempting to find those responsible for tampering recently with software that contains student grades by using classified log-in information.

Administrators became aware of the incident last week and are investigating, said Bob Mosier, public information officer for Anne Arundel County schools. He said that who was involved and the way in which the log-in information was obtained have not been determined.

"Whoever did it is in violation of the school's computer-use policy and academic integrity policy," Mosier said yesterday.

The computer program, Cognitive Tutor, is used by students in algebra courses who need additional help. The program requires these students to log in to the system on days when class does not meet to give them extra practice. Mosier said this computer-based work amounts to 15 percent of the students' overall grade. About 230 students at Chesapeake High School use this program.

Any students proven to be involved in the incident will be penalized on a case-by-case basis, Mosier said. Suspension or expulsion are possible. The school administration plans to proceed with preventive measures after the individuals are identified, he said.

"We'll do everything we can, once we find out what happened and how it happened," he said. "That will dictate the measures that go into place."

Patricia Plitt, principal of Chesapeake High School, said in an e-mail response, "At this time, the investigation is still continuing, and I am not ready to make a statement."

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