I have written about the massive academic fraud that many schools practice to artificially raise the graduation rate, especially the diploma mill high schools, that push out otherwise, failing students, unprepared into the adult world of high education or business. I wrote about the "credit recovery" courses that are simply a packet or an online course that allows students to take the test as many time as necessary until they pass. I also wrote about how some high schools gave double credits for the same course like what happened in Flushing High School or how about the infamous William Cullen Bryant High School? However, the worst abuses, practiced by most every high school in the City is called "scholarship".
What is scholarship you ask? Scholarship is when the Assistant Principal or Principal calls the teacher in for a meeting and goes over the teacher's grading book and ask why student A, B, C, and D are failing? In the school I was in last year, the Assistant Principal had teachers follow the procedures listed below:
- How many times did you call the parent, is it documented?
- Do you keep an online grading book so parents are kept up to date?
- What supports did you provide the student with?
- What do you do when a student is absent?
- Do you supply make-up work or extra credit?
Many high schools require a 80% passing percentage,including no-shows, and if the teacher is untenured, anything less will probably result in their discontinuance. For tenured teachers, especially veteran teachers who are targeted due to salary and seniority, look for the administration to give the teacher either a "developing" or "ineffective" rating. The result is that teachers will pass the failing student rather than put their job in danger. To the school administration good scholarship percentage is more important than actual student learning and teachers know this. In fact, students are not held accountable for their academic achievement only the teachers.
Is scholarship academic fraud? Well if you are passing students simply to please the school administration, knowing full well that these students will fail at the next level then yes, its academic fraud.