Local News

Moore Superintendent Keeps Job After Controversy Over SAT Scores

Posted October 16, 2003

— The superintendent of Moore County schools will get to keep his job, despite the recent SAT controversy.

After a fifth closed-door meeting, school board members voted Thursday morning to keep Dr. Patrick Russo. Russo, along with other school officials, were accused of using state money to reward students who did well on the test then asking others to cover it up.

Officials claim the state money was supposed to go to programs aimed at helping students who struggled with the exam.

Russo said he welcomes the vote of confidence, although he does accept blame.

"As superintendent of schools, I am ultimately responsible for all decisions made in our school system and I take full responsibility for this unfortunate sequence of events," he said.

The members blamed the situation on human error and honest mistakes. Some residents, who waited weeks for action in the case and to hear from Russo first-hand, were not happy with what the school board's decision.

"I'm furious as a taxpayer. I'm enraged. I think the school board and the superintendent are not doing their jobs," resident Ralph Newsome said.

School board members said they will take a look at their policies and see if there is a way to prevent problems in the future. They have already hired an accountant to show them better ways to keep their books.


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