The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) has confirmed an ongoing investigation into recent allegations of cheating in the Mobile County Public School System.

Lagniappe was able to confirm through the Alabama Education Association that former MCPSS principal Missy Nolen filed the allegations against the school system. 

Nolen was at the center of controversy at Turner Elementary School in June that resulted in her being moved from the principal’s position. She was approved by the school board to take over the system’s virtual academy, but instead transferred to take a position in the central office of Thomasville City Schools. 

“The (ALSDE) has been made aware of allegations concerning cheating in certain Mobile County Public Schools,” ALSDE Director of Communications Michael Sibley said.

“While this issue is an important one, per State Department of Education protocol, we do not comment on matters we are currently reviewing.”

Sibley did say the matter, like all official allegations, “would be examined thoroughly.”

Other media outlets originally reported the alleged cheating involved standardized testing, and claimed the central office staff at MCPSS allegedly failed to act on reports of cheating in certain schools.

However, a spokesperson for MCPSS said that was incorrect, saying the allegations the system was made aware of only dealt with “grading irregularities.”

“We investigated these allegations when they were reported to us during the past school year, just as we investigate any allegations made regarding possible grading irregularities,” MCPSS Superintendent Martha Peek said. “We have completed the investigation.”

When asked, the system was unwilling to discuss the results of that investigation, and Lagniappe is unaware at this time if the allegations of “grading irregularities” were found to be valid during the system’s internal evaluation.

More information on this story will be published as it is made available.