Grads of Detroit academy told diplomas not legit

- They earned their high school diplomas, but there's no record of their accomplishments.

Former students of an academy in Detroit are having a hard time getting jobs because their prospective employers can't find proof of their education.

Miona Jones says she got that call after applying for a job. And turns out bad record keeping at Detroit Public Schools under Emergency Management may be keeping her and a friend from working with the automaker.

"Chrysler called and they wanted proof and they wanted proof of my high school diploma," said Jones. "I sent them the diploma but there is no proof of the school."

Fiat Chrysler could not find any proof Jones or Devanni Robinson completed high school in 2012 and says their alma mater, Detroit Cares Alternative Academy, seems to have never existed.

"I worked 12 years, fighting in school, fighting to be top of my class and you tell me it was all for nothing?" Jones said.

Jones and Robinson tried to get their records from The Detroit Public Schools Community District in person and over the phone.

"I actually called and the lady said they had no records of our transcripts, diplomas stating that we graduated, nothing," said Robinson.

"So now I'm without a Chrysler job," said Jones. "Thanks to the Detroit Public School system and Rev. Sheffield."

Reverend Horace Sheffield heads up the nonprofit that ran Detroit Cares Alternative Academy from 2007 until its closure in 2012. The school was authorized by DPS as an alternative education program.

Sheffield, who's currently out of the country, spoke with FOX 2 by phone.

"The Detroit Public Schools is responsible for the management and the maintenance of these records," he said. "All of this has been submitted by us and somewhere along the line, some of these records have been lost, misplaced or I'm not sure what happened."

A spokesperson for DPSCD tells FOX 2 that in 2011 and 2012, while under emergency management, the district failed to properly put student records from contract schools like DCAA into its student information system.

After learning about these students' plight, the district will make sure those records are entered.

Sheffield says he did his best to keep track of all of those student records, even after sending it to Detroit Public Schools. He said he will reach out to Chrysler and get them the information they need once he gets back in town next week.

The big question now is, how many contract schools did DPS have, and how many former students does this affect? The district did not have an answer; FOX 2 will be working to get one in the coming days.

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