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Tucson students accused of selling grade changes

TUCSON, Ariz. — Dozens of Tucson High Magnet School students are at risk of not graduating next week after officials discovered three students were changing their peers’ grades in exchange for cash.

Tucson Unified School District officials discovered last week that about 50 students in a school-credit recovery course were involved in the cheating, The Arizona Daily Star reported (http://bit.ly/1XmR5GL). Most of the students involved are seniors and the rest are juniors.

School district spokeswoman Stefanie Boe said a teacher noticed grades in the system were different than what she had entered and reported the discrepancies.

“It appears a few students were able to get the teacher’s password,” Boe said.

Boe said it’s possible a student may have looked over their teacher’s shoulder as she logged in.

Cited the ongoing investigation, district officials did not reveal how much students paid to have their grades changed. The district will determine whether law enforcement needs to be involved after their investigation is complete.

Superintendent H.T. Sanchez said some of the students who changed their grades were very close to graduation, but now they will have to retake the class over the summer.

“There’s a right way of doing things — you work hard, you earn the grade and you pass the class,” he said. “And then there’s a wrong way, and there are consequences for doing things the wrong way and the students are facing the ultimate consequence.

Sanchez said the district will consider changing practices, such as increased password security, in order to prevent similar situations, but that most students don’t go looking for trouble.

“By and large we’re graduating 3,000 students,” Sanchez said. “We have 50 who made bad decision — the majority of our students work very hard, they earn their grades the right way and they walk across the stage with honor.”

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Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.tucson.com

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