Former South Orange-Maplewood Superintendent of Schools Brian Osborne is coming under fire for reportedly failing to implement a state requirement that will force the New Rochelle, NY school district to extend the school year for some students and pay a hefty penalty.
According to a report by Tony Aiello of CBS2 New York, the New York State Department of Education established new rules that took effect in September 2018, requiring more instructional hours (990 hours over 180 days) for middle school students. At present, students in New Rochelle will be 100 hours short. Per the CBS report, “District leaders say former Superintendent Brian Osborne failed to make sure the changes were implemented before he left in October.”
Now, New Rochelle middle school students will complete finals on June 26 instead of June 21. Because they will still be short of the required hours, the district will face a penalty — “a loss of state aid that could total several hundred thousand dollars.”
Reported Aiello, “The state education department says hundreds of district in New York were subject” to the change, but New Rochelle was the only district to have “missed the mark” in implementation.
Osborne, who resigned as South Orange-Maplewood Superintendent of Schools in 2014, resigned from his job in New Rochelle last summer, citing personal reasons.
According to lohud.com, Osborne announced his resignation after a “turbulent year” which saw several violent acts in the district including the stabbing death of a 16-year-old student near the high school campus. The district also launched a grade inflation investigation.
However, Osborne told the Journal News/lohud that “his decision had nothing to do with a probe launched by his administration … into the high school’s online credit recovery program, adding that the allegations, while serious, remain under investigation.”
In December, the New Rochelle board of education released an un-redacted report on grade inflation that was characterized as “scathing.”
As reported by lohud.com, the investigative report into grade inflation “revealed a lack of procedures and general understanding regarding the use of the Apex online learning system and an absence of supervision of the teachers and administrators who were responsible for enrolling, assisting and grading students taking Apex online courses.”
“A main focus of the report,” according to lohud, was Shadia Alvarez, a high school administrator and coordinator of the school’s credit recovery program. Investigators said Alvarez “was responsible for changing 212 grades for 32 students.”