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Report: Public University Unfairly Raising Black Students' Grades to Boost School's Standing


"All the faculty, white and black are very fearful to speak."

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Three former staff members at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, have come forward with a shocking claim. They maintain that administrators at the university have been purposefully boosting and curving African Americans' grades.

This stunning allegation comes from Shira Hedgepeth, former director of academic technology, and two former professors. The two educators spoke on condition of anonymity when they detailed the allegations to Campus Reform, a conservative group that explores various issues on university campuses.

“Some students had their final grades changed based on their race. That was a common complaint of many of the faculty that I worked with," Hedgepeth, who was terminated in 2011, told the outlet. “None of the Caucasian or non-African American students… none of their grades were changed."

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Some may claim that Hedgepeth and the former professors are targeting the school after unpalatable workplace scenarios -- and that they are using this opportunity to get back at administrators. While this may or may not be true, some factors are essential to note.

To begin, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled last year that Hedgepeth, who is white, was racially discriminated against when she was let go. The professors, who remain anonymous, fear retribution. However all three are speaking out about the grading curves and Hedgepeth is suing the university over her departure.

Here's how the grading scenario allegedly worked: Professors would purportedly submit their grades to the school and then the markings would be curved up by administrators. This was described as taking place, Campus Reform reports, "to take care of their African American students" and, as the outlet notes, to "raise the school's standing."

Documentation, which has not been made available online, was also reportedly given to reporter Oliver Darcy, who covered the story. It has not been published, as Campus Reform fears violating the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act if the names and grades of specific students are released.

One of the professors claims to have reported these issues internally, but says that it is unlikely that anything was done to curb the problem at WSSU. Another former educator also said that this wasn't a one-time scenario and that the grading practice continues.

“All the faculty, white and black are very fearful to speak,” one of them said. “The department is run by fear and through retaliation. If you speak out you will be retaliated against.”

But WSSU has a different story, with spokesperson Aaron Singleton claiming that the university has not received complaints and that no one is familiar with the grading issues being highlighted.

“I checked throughout our administration and the university has not heard of any of those allegations,” Singleton told Campus Reform. “No one has filed any complaints at the university.”

Read the rest of the story.

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(H/T: Campus Reform)


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