MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

Former Ballou HS principal Dr. Yetunde Reeves talks audit, losing her job

Former Ballou HS principal Dr. Yetunde Reeves talks audit, losing her job (ABC7)

Dr. Yetunde Reeves was principal at Ballou High School for almost four years, until Tuesday, when she lost her job after D.C. Public Schools released its study about grade and attendance issues at a number of high schools within the city.

"Ballou staff felt significant pressure to pass students who were not attending class," DCPS said in a statement Tuesday.

Reeves disagrees. She sat down with ABC7's Q McCray for an exclusive one-on-one interview Wednesday.

"It is absolutely devastating. That I am the face of a national story when my goal was just to help black children," Reeves said.

DCPS acknowledged it did not provide sufficient training, support or accountability for teachers and staff.

"It's easy to say the school did something wrong. The principal did something wrong. 'It's her fault.' But if the system is flawed .... if the system has gaps, then why isn't the system being discussed like I'm being discussed," Reeves said.

“There was a lot of accountability that some teachers weren’t used to, like having your gradebook monitored. For some that’s pressure. For others that’s just accountability,” she said while sitting next to her attorney Dionna Lewis with Tully Rinckey Attorneys & Counsellors at Law. “We needed more training. We certainly train teachers to the best of our ability, but I think having District training would’ve made the policy that more successful.”

Q: Do you think you are the scapegoat in this story.

Dr Reeves: “Based on the narrative currently, I do think I’m the scapegoat.”

In the same letter yesterday, DCPS acknowledged it “did not provide sufficient training, support or accountability for teachers and staff” at Ballou High.

“It’s easy to say the school did something wrong. The principal did something wrong. It’s her fault. But, if the system is flawed; if the system has gaps then why isn’t the system being discussed like I’m being discussed.”

Q: Do you believe other principals should be disciplined?

“My colleagues at DCPS are all committed and they all work very hard, but If I’m being disciplined, terminated or not re-elected that needs to be consistent across the board,” Dr Reeves added. “It is absolutely devastating that I am the face of a national story when my goal was just to help black children.”

Since Dr Reeves is no longer principal she is not allowed on Ballou’s campus. She became emotional when talking about not having an opportunity to say goodbye to her staff and students.

“The kids feel like this is their fault. What you want young people to know is that there are some system issues, but as young people they are still amazing. They are still talented.”

When referring to her staff she said “I’m proud of the work we’ve done. We’ve changed the narrative in spite of the chapter being written right now. I believe in them and I know the kids are in great hands.”

Q: A lot of people think you failed the graduates by passing them. Do you feel any wrongdoing in that?

Dr Reeves: “I don’t pass or fail students. I’m not a teacher, but I do feel all students were held to a standard. There was never a message saying pass kids who didn’t earn the grade, but there was an expectation that if a student was failing your class for attendance or grading reasons that there were supports and that’s in line with the District Intervention Mission. That’s in line with the chancellor’s idea of second chances.”

Q: Do you think you did anything wrong?

Dr Reeves: “No. I don’t think I did anything wrong. Are there some things that we could’ve improved? Absolutely. I don’t want to be the only person who is the face of a citywide systematic issue.”

Q: So who is to blame here?

Dr Reeves: I think everybody has some kind of accountability. I don’t want to use the word blame, because that implies punishment but we all are accountable.

Watch McCray's full interview with Reeves below:




close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off

Trending