Several instructors at Fayetteville Technical Community College were released from their positions after they alleged the school was tampering with student grades in order to receive a higher pass rate. The former instructors are now seeking a digital forensics expert to examine computer records belonging to the college for evidence to back up their claims.
The lawsuit, originating in 2016, made claims that the school’s administration team began “pressuring instructors to start giving D grades to failing students instead of F grades so that the students would pass their classes and stay in school.” The alleged order was received after laws were passed that allowed for additional college funding for schools with high retention rates. Instructors claim that if they had low retention rates, they were subjected to low performance reviews and were unable to teach additional classes.
When the instructors spoke with the head of the Human Resources department, their concerns did not receive a response. When it was time to sign annual teaching contracts, the instructors claim they were not offered positions due to their stance on the grading policies. Fayetteville Tech released a statement saying the instructors’ claims are not valid and they have never asked instructors to inflate student grades.
Fayetteville Tech’s computer records have been requested by the plaintiffs in order to search and extract documents relevant to the investigation. Previously, a judge approved the order to hire a computer forensics examiner to receive a complete copy of the computer system in question. A Court of Appeals Judge later denied that order due to the fact that the records could include sensitive documents that are protected by law, including correspondence between the school and its lawyers.
Currently, the court is deciding how to allow for an examination of Fayetteville Tech’s computer records without jeopardizing confidential data.
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Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology