That was the headline last Friday as Juan Gonzalez did another piece on the John Dewey HS credit recovery cheating scandal, asking the golden question: When will Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña address the massive grade fixing scandal at John Dewey High School in Brooklyn?
In this video I confront Carmen Farina about her double standard for principals like Kathleen Elvin and teachers after NYCLetEmPlay teacher David Rosen was sent to the rubber room while the principal of John Dewey HS has been under investigation for many months but still allowed to run the school.
My theory is that Farina loves cheating principals like Elvin who keep her grad rates up the the cheating standards established under 12 years of BloomKlein. Imagine if Farina ran an honest ship -- the phony Bloomberg grad rates would drop like a stone and the press and ed deformers would go nuts attacking the shit out of Farina and de Blasio. So I get it - that for self-survival, Elvin despite a 15 month investigation, stays and great teachers and student advocates are pulled from their schools within hours.
In my PEP speech I also addressed the issue of Success Charters with a game of "Guess the school" where I ask "what schools have lots of extra underwear for kids who are prevented from going to the bathroom? (Hint: someone named Eva runs them). There's nothing like smashing away at Eva than having her minions in the audience. (And she also dropped in.)
And I did it in a nifty 2 minutes - you can boil your egg while watching this.
When will Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña address the massive grade fixing scandal at John Dewey High School in Brooklyn?
Teachers there began registering complaints in February 2014 that their administrators were creating phantom classes for failing students and secretly inflating grades to boost the school’s official graduation rate.
Eight teachers even gave testimony in early December to the School District’s Office of Special Investigations about the bogus scheme. Some claimed their names were attached to courses they never taught, others that they were ordered to instruct and grade students in subjects for which they had no state license..
The teachers provided investigators hard evidence: copies of faculty rosters, individual student schedules, internal emails, even audio tapes of conversations with superiors.
But 15 months later, the Department of Education is mum.
Among hundreds of Dewey records obtained by The Daily News is the transcript of a single student who graduated last June.
His name was redacted from our copy, thus we refer to him here simply as King, for he just might be the “king” of credit recovery.
Under state regulations, students who fail a subject required for graduation can make it up in one of three ways: either attend summer school, repeat the course, or take “targeted credit recovery” -- a class where they get remedial work for their specific weakness.
But the state spells out strict limitations on credit recovery. It cannot be offered to students who were frequently absent from their original course. The student must be taught by a teacher licensed in the subject matter. And after taking the remedial work, the student must demonstrate “mastery” of the subject.
Most importantly, students cannot receive more than three credit recoveries in core academic subjects for their high school career.
Well, student King’s transcript shows he passed 11 credit recovery courses in the spring of 2014, the semester before his graduation! Seven were in core academic subjects.
That’s not just breaking regulations, that’s smashing them.
He received, for example, got credit for five courses during Period 0, before the start of school. Two of those, 9th grade global studies and health, list the teacher only as “Panel 111.” That’s the room number of Principal Kathleen Elvin.
King also managed to take Earth science 2, environmental science 2, and physcial education during the same period, and he received the same grade for all five courses -- 65.
Then, after a full day of regular classes during Periods 1 to 8, King got credit recovery for six additional courses after school. They included Writing Across the Curriculum, US History 4, Algebra 2, Earth Science 1, 10th grade Global Studies, aand another gym class..
Principal Elvin declined our request to discuss credit recovery practices at Dewey or even what kind of early morning instruction occured in her office. She referred questions to officials at Tweed..
“It wasn’t credit recovery, it was fraud,” one veteran Dewey teacher said.
That teacher said many on staff got assigned to a course called “Project Graduation,” into which hundreds of failing students were placed.
Emails reviewed by the News show some declined to give grades in subjects outside their expertise, and others questioned why their names were listed for classes they never taught. But most followed orders.
More than a year after a few brave teachers risked their careers to blow the whistle, nothing has happened.
Why the delay in the face of such overwhelming evidence?