Charles Hankerson, Former Miami Northwestern High Principal, Embroiled in Grade-Changing Scandal

​A Miami-Dade County Public Schools principal credited with turning around a storied inner-city high school's academic performance is under investigation for illegally changing student grades. The allegation against Charles Hankerson is the latest black eye for Miami Northwestern High School, which earlier this year was almost shut down by state education officials for being a chronically failing school. The probe is being conducted by the Miami-Dade Office of the Inspector General, although the agency's head, Chris Mazzella, declined to comment.

During the three years Hankerson was in charge of Miami Northwestern Senior High, he was a strict disciplinarian who oversaw school-wide improvement on the FCAT and tripled the number of students enrolled in college-level courses.

He requested a transfer last year following a dispute with the Northwestern alumni association over his treatment of the school's popular football coach, Billy Rolle. Following a win over Miami Edison last year, Hankerson fired Rolle, prompting an outcry from alums. Three days later, he reinstated the coach, whom Hankerson has known since middle school.

But Hankerson continued to clash with some students, alumni members, and other Northwestern supporters. He was roundly criticized when it was revealed that one of his assistant vice principals had forgotten to submit grades for students taking college courses that would have pushed Northwestern's overall grade from a D to a C. As a result, state education officials were considering closing the school or turning it over to a charter school operator.

Hankerson was supposed to start this school school year as principal at Miami Killian High. Instead, he has been reassigned to a region office while the investigation is conducted, says Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokesman John Schuster.

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I agree with the person that commented below, because I worked with this guy in Northwestern Senior High School as well, and was very humiliated because of my language and my hispanic heritage.I suffered the worst humiliations of my life in this school, made by him and the assistant principal. The made me feel the worst person in the school being myself a certified teacher.

P Acosta
P Acosta

Unfortunately I worked with Mr. Hankerson many, many years ago, and he was implacable, arrogant, racist (towards Hispanics), and with an air of  having godly spirit. His superiority made him think he was a god. I also remember him tampering with FCAT documents to help his school grades. Many of us were very scared of him. I and other teachers and parents always knew and prayed that his tribulations would one day come.


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