Friday, December 01, 2006

A high school guidance counselor has been accused of creating bogus transcripts to get unqualifed students into college

Matt Katz:

Frederick Clayton

Two years after initially being accused of altering students' grades to help them get into college, a popular high school guidance counselor has been brought up on tenure charges and suspended without pay.

Frederick Clayton, who had been suspended with pay since December 2004, denied the allegations and vowed to fight the school board's charges, which would strip him of his guidance counselor license and could affect his pension.

"It's going to be a very vigorous and very comprehensive fight, but I can't discuss anything about it," Clayton said Wednesday.

A former acting principal and longtime guidance director at the city's most prestigious school, Charles E. Brimm Medical Arts High School, Clayton has said that he changed grades only with his superiors' knowledge after students completed remedial work.

The specific charges were not released by the district. But in the past Clayton has been accused of admitting students into the National Honor Society without the proper grades, changing grades on transcripts to allow unqualified students to graduate and creating a separate set of bogus transcripts to send to colleges.

When the board suspended Clayton two years ago, it cited "conduct unbecoming" a district employee but he kept his approximately $70,000-a-year salary.

Later, his offer to resign and help the district fight whistle-blower suits related to the grade-fixing, in exchange for $100,000, was turned down.

"The board believes that the time has come for us to pursue filing tenure charges based on the information we have," board President Philip Freeman said.

Camden eyes a firing amid grade-changing probe

Camden school employee offers deal

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