Sunday, July 12, 2015
Academic Fraud Is Common In The New York City High Schools.
I once wrote about how few students were "college ready" especially in poor and minority communities and was criticized by some for using a metric that really didn't determine the academic abilities of the students and their school. While they may have a point the reason I used the "college and career readiness" metric is because it cannot be easily manipulated by school principals unlike the graduation rates and credit accumulation metrics, the hallmark of the Michael Bloomberg era. It seems now that Mayor Bill de Blasio has replaced Michael Bloomberg as Mayor of the City, the media has decided to question the "credit recovery" and graduation rates as if this was only an issue in the last two years and under Mayor Bill de Blasio. Be it that it may, academic fraud has been around for the last decade when it came to the New York City high schools.
Its common knowledge that many of the New York City high schools have been using "credit recovery" programs that lacked "rigor" and even real instruction to pass along students and give them easy credits. In fact, the State was so appalled by the bogus "credit recovery" programs the New York City high schools were using that they forced Chancellor Walcott in 2012 to make significant changes to the "credit recovery" programs and the abuses were to stop. Remember this outrageous action? how about this one? And who can forget this? Of course the DOE looked the other way when schools apparently ignored the new standards. The result was many academically unprepared students were graduated despite not having the skills to succeed in the adult world.
In school after school I hear stories of undeserving students being graduated out by the use of bogus "credit recovery", Principal pressure, grading policy, and manipulating attendance. Many "Leadership Academy Principals" demand an 85% passing rate, including students on a teacher's roster who refuse to attend class. When the teacher objects, he or she is refused tenure or is given poor observation grades. Moreover, attendance figures were manipulated in such a way as to show the student attended class when the student did not. Finally, many principals require a minimum grade of 55% this ensures that if a student can pass a marking period, they can receive a passing grade for the entire year. Its a wonder that the New York City High School graduation rate is not higher?
In today's New York Post we find another instance of the DOE looking the other way when it comes to Regents cheating and again Superintendent Amiee Horowitz is linked to having a school's teachers regrade the Regents. After denying that a school's teachers were regrading the Regents, an email was published showing that at Richmond Hill it directed three teachers do do just that. The DOE response? Dead silence. Is it any wonder that 78.3% of the students who go to CUNY have to take remediation? What about the students who were pushed through without even the opportunity to develop the academic skills necessary to be productive adults? To me this is academic fraud and the administrators involved should not only be fired but go to jail.
Academic fraud will continue in the New York City high schools regardless of who is in charge of the New York City schools until more stringent and academically appropriate rules are implemented in the future.