A former investigator for the Dallas Independent School District’s internal audit office had her termination upheld by select school board members at a grievance hearing last Thursday.
As previously reported in The Dallas Express, Andrea Whelan contested her termination by the district, alleging that she was fired from her job as auditor and manager of investigative services in retaliation for her reporting possible grade and attendance manipulation at a district high school to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in March of this year.
Whelan claimed that she uncovered evidence of grade and attendance manipulation at W.W. Samuell High School, stating that it was at times at the direction of the school’s principal.
However, an attorney representing the district at the grievance hearing claimed that Whelan was fired for poor job performance and that the high school’s principal was only assisting students with credit recovery in the context of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whether or not administrators at the school were involved in grade or attendance manipulation, W.W. Samuell High School still logged dismal academic results in its latest TEA accountability report.
The school received an overall scaled score of 66, which would typically register as a “D” letter grade if it were not for the agency’s pandemic grading system. It also received a scaled score of 57 for its students’ STAAR performance, a failing mark.
W.W. Samuell High School is just one of 29 different Dallas ISD campuses that are designated “Not Rated,” meaning they scored “D” and “F” letter grades.
The Dallas Express reached out to TEA for comment, asking the agency if it ever received a complaint from Whelan or followed up on her allegations against W.W. Samuell High School and its administrators.
A TEA media relations contact responded, confirming the receipt of Whelan’s complaint and stating that the “complaint is currently under review to determine what next steps, if any, are necessary.”