Sunday, November 29, 2015
In The DOE Its Still All About The Graduation Rate Not The Student's Education.
Once again the New York Post exposes academic fraud in the New York City Public Schools. This time it's the Principal of DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. According to the Post article, the Principal, Santiago Taveras, is accused to have changed grades from failing to passing, despite no sign off from the teachers, all in an attempt to artificially raise the school's anemic graduation rate. Is Mr Traveras alone in this academic fraud? No! I'm sure if the Special Commissioner of Investigations (SCI) really was on the ball, they would find dozens of principals committing similar academic fraud.
The interesting part of the Post article is that the present Principal was a Deputy Chancellor under Klein and resigned after Cathie Black took over. Mr. Traveras was the DOE executioner that closed many of the comprehensive high schools and sat impassivelyat hearings as parents, students, and teachers pleaded with him to keep their school open. He tried his hand in private industry but decided (or was pushed out) to come back to the DOE who, in the closing months of the Bloomberg Administration, Chancellor Dennis Walcott offered him the Executive Principal's job at DeWitt Clinton High School, a renewal school. Unfortunately, Mr. Traveras brings with him some heavy baggage from his Bloomberg years such as the policy in artificially raising the graduation rate by any means possible to achieve a high letter grade and scholarship over real education, a hallmark of the Bloomberg years.
Making Santiago Traveras a Principal at a renewal school is more the problem than a solution as he uses the same old academic fraud tricks ;like changing grades, questionable credit recovery, and pressuring teachers to pass undeserving students by demanding a high scholarship percentage. Moreover, his trust factor by staff is below average and the college readiness rate is 19%. Not an encouraging number to me. Finally, under Principal Santiago Traveras, the school has utterly failed to close the academic achievement gap and despite his Bloomberg inspired policies, the school's graduation rate is only 46%!
While SCI is currently investigating the alleged academic fraud at DeWitt Clinton High School, the DOE has chosen to leave Mr. Traveras in place as its Principal which just goes to prove the more things change the more they stay the same when it comes to the DOE.