Montgomery school grade changing investigation

The Montgomery school board has voted to accept a mutual separation agreement with former Superintendent Barbara Thompson.

The 5-2 vote came during a special meeting Wednesday afternoon and the board voted to appoint the district's professional development director, Margaret Allen, to serve as interim superintendent.

Thompson will receive benefits included in her contract, including a year's salary of $155,000 and $10,000 for relocation expenses.

Montgomery school board members say they're being kept in the dark about allegations of improper grade changing and other issues.

Board members say they didn't realize an in-depth probe was being conducted by the state.

New allegations were contained in a letter sent from the state to Montgomery Superintendent Barbara Thompson. It was made public this week.

A number of issues were detailed, including more improper grade changes, teacher intimidation and an atmosphere that placed more emphasis on promotion than education.

Two Montgomery Public Schools teachers have alleged that they felt pressured to make improper grade changes.

The Montgomery Advertiser reported Sunday that ( Pamela West and Gardenia Wilson told the Montgomery County Board of Education they thought the decision to transfer them to other schools stemmed from their refusal to give students easier work to raise their grades.

(Information in the following story is from: Montgomery Advertiser,

Alabama's state school superintendent says he expects the Montgomery County school system to have a plan by Christmas to make sure grade-changing doesn't occur again.

State Superintendent Tommy Bice said the state Department of Education wants the plan for institutional control in place before the second semester starts. The department will appoint a monitor to make sure the school system carries out its new plan.