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Letter: Mixed messages by Hempstead leaders

Betty Cross counts votes as they are read

Betty Cross counts votes as they are read aloud during a special meeting at ABGS Middle School in Hempstead, May 21, 2014. Credit: Jeremy Bales

The discussion of a new grading policy in Hempstead is just the most recent example of how deep a hole teachers and students are in ["Schools run, amid dispute," News column, June 8].

Reports indicate that Hempstead administrators have been fixing grades for years. Last year they brought back a respected retired principal to clean up the grade-fixing mess in an attempt to instill integrity in the operation of the high school. In less that a year, he was deemed incapable of handling the grade-reporting process, so that important function was delegated to other administrators. One wonders whether these are the same administrators who were fixing grades for the past few years. Isn't the superintendent ultimately responsible for this consistent dereliction of duty?

The students of Hempstead are being robbed by their school administration and school board. How convenient to be able to blame student failures on poverty. This is shameful.

The column relates an incident in which board president Betty Cross left a board meeting to tend to "a report of trouble in the middle school." Interference in the day-to-day operation of a school district by a board member is plain wrong. It tells every district employee, including the superintendent, that decisions are being made by people with no training or experience in public education. It is not unreasonable to wonder whether any board members weighed in on recording grades at the high school.

Chris Marzuk, Greenlawn

Editor's note: The writer is a former assistant superintendent for a Long Island school district.