Hempstead School District no longer rounding up failing grades

HEMPSTEAD - The Hempstead School District has ended its policy of rounding failing grades up to passing and fired the whistleblower who exposed the controversial policy.

The Hempstead Board of Education voted last night to no longer round up failing grades of 63 or 64 to the passing grade of 65.

The grade-changing policy was brought to light last month by Carlos Ramirez, the district’s former director of technology.

In a 3-1 vote last night, the board also voted to fire Ramirez.

District spokesman Nathan Jackson denies the move had anything to do with Ramirez’s exposing of the grade-changing policy. Jackson says Superintendent Susan Johnson has been dissatisfied with Ramirez’s work and that the position had already been on the chopping block.

Dennis Tompkins, of the New York State Education Department, told News 12 Long Island that he couldn’t comment on the situation due to possible law enforcement involvement.

Hempstead is one of the lowest performing districts on Long Island. The district’s graduation rate in 2011-12 was just 38 percent.

Carlos Ramirez's attorney did not return News 12 Long Island’s calls for comment.

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