While there is room for more transparency in the way GPA calculations are handled at Rapoport Academy, external auditors say there are no overarching issues with the way scores are calculated, Superintendent Alexis Neumann announced Tuesday night at a school board meeting.
The announcement was part of an informal update on an $11,500 external audit Rapoport Academy officials paid for earlier this year. The audit was sparked by scrutiny from parents in September. They alleged GPAs had not been calculated consistently with the correct formula and suggested inaccurate numbers could interfere with their children’s ability to apply for scholarships. Both of the parents’ children graduated this week.
A formal report on the audit will be given to the school board in January, Neumann said.
The parents also filed a complaint at about the same time with the Texas Education Agency about the issue, but the complaint has since been closed and was considered non-jurisdictional, TEA spokeswoman DeEtta Culbertson stated Tuesday afternoon.
“What I found from the meeting was there were a few additional findings, versus what we initially presented to you guys with the seniors,” Neumann said, acknowledging clerical errors. “Similar things were found with the juniors, sophomores and freshmen. All in all, the auditors said there were no issues they found with the ill treatment of students. There were no discrepancies between students. You know, like one student got this and one student got that. We were very consistent with our policy in the way GPAs were calculated.”
But because GPAs are calculated on actual averages for a class, not the rounded score printed on a transcript, auditors recommend Rapoport officials decide to go with one or the other, she said. The numbers should match, she said.
“That was a pretty big one, as far as transparency,” Neumann said. “It’s not wrong, it’s just a parent can’t take the transcript and go calculate it themselves. On a few instances here or there, it’s not going to come out the same. But it is getting calculated consistently behind the scenes.”
Auditors also noticed a few classes had been coded wrong for GPA calculations, which Rapoport officials acknowledged in September. Officials will do what Neumann called a specific cross-walk to make sure class codes are clearly defined, she said.
“Right now, you have to do a little bit of research. Well, what does this class mean? Is it this class or is it this class?” Neumann said. “Just kind of clarifying that, so that in seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th, we have a very clear document we can give to families that says these are the classes this student’s going to take, this is what they’re called and this is how many credits they are.”
Other recommendations will be given with the final report in January, she said.
Also Tuesday, the school board accepted the resignation of board member Audrey Bables, a retired teacher.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, I’ll no longer be in the position to continue to serve as a board member,” Bables wrote in a letter to the board. “Know that I have the highest personal regard and respect for the Rapoport Academy public school and our board members. … My wish is for you to continue to grow in success and excellence.”
The board will bring nominations for a new member with similar expertise to the table at the January meeting, Board President Rhett Dawson said.
“I contacted Ms. Bables, and unfortunately, she said she had a family situation arise, so that’s why she’s had to step off the board,” Dawson said. “I did thank her for her service, and I thought she had done a very good job. … We’re sorry to see her go, and we will be looking to fill that position.”
There is no indication her resignation has any relation to the GPA audit.