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WASHINGTON, DC – “We are cheating our students.” DC Council Chairman Mendelson is deeply disturbed after learning from a WAMU news report that over half of last year’s class at Ballou High School graduated despite extremely high rates of unexcused absences.

One-fifth of the graduates missed over half of the school year. “It doesn’t make sense that a student – let alone multiple numbers of students – can miss over half of the school year and graduate,” Mendelson said.

Along with the WAMU and NPR report that showed nearly one in five students missed more than 90 days of school, there are allegations of administrative misconduct. “Social promotion for students who are chronically truant, it degrades the value of the diploma for everybody and cheats the students out of an honest future,” Mendelson added. “I expect a full investigation. We must ensure that the situation alleged to have happened at Ballou never happens again – and that this is an isolated situation, which it may not be.