First, the young moms who attend Broadway High School, the city's special program for teenage parents, had to move campuses. Now they're being told that some of the classes they've taken won't count toward graduation.
The exact details are a bit hazy, but the bottom line is that teachers taught classes they didn't have licenses to teach. That's a violation of the No Child Left Behind Act, so those classes might not count, says Stan Alleyne, spokesman for the Minneapolis Public Schools District.
Ouch. It's rough enough making it through high school as a teenage mom already.[jump]
Alleyne said he couldn't talk about the specific details of which classes and which teachers because they involved personnel. However, he did explain that the problem was uncovered in the course of an investigation that found that teachers at Broadway taught courses in subjects they didn't have licenses to teach.
Mary Sigurdson, a coordinator, and Beverly Davis, a special assignment teacher, were placed on paid administrative leave in December in connection with the snafu.
Alleyne said the problems won't affect students who have already graduated. But those still in school are stuck dealing with the mess. The students and their parents have already been notified.
"This is serious, and students are upset," Alleyne said. "The staff has been right there with the students to work with them on this process--but this is difficult."
Alleyne said the school is looking into the possibility that students might be able to prove competency in the problematic courses rather than re-take them.
Broadway is the only place in Minneapolis that gives teen moms a place to finish their education while their babies are in on-site daycare. It provides health care and counseling for girls who haven't done well in the city's other schools.
The high school used to be on Broadway across from Temple Shiloh, but moved to North High School this year, after the district decided to build its headquarters on top of the old Broadway school.
The plan is to house the school in North only for this year--yet another new location is being considered for next year, Alleyne said.