Academic fraud in NYC schools

Charges of academic fraud in New York City, home of the nation’s largest school district, are finally being investigated by the FBI (“FBI probes allegations of ‘deep-rooted’ academic fraud in NYC schools, The New York Post, Jan. 25).  I submit that it is long overdue.

For too long, schools in New York City have gotten away with practices that are clearly unethical and illegal.  For example, teachers at Maspeth High School have been encouraged by their principal to cheat on exams, enforce a no-fail policy and suffer retaliation if they didn’t play along.  By doing so, the chancellor and the mayor can then claim students are learning more.

But I’ve never believed the success stories. For one thing, so much is the result of credit recovery, which allows failing students to get credit for an entire semester on the basis of a few hours of on-line work.  How is that justifiable? My point is that by continuing to lower standards, schools will post results that purport to prove that students are performing better.

I hope that the FBI succeeds in its probe because what is going on is an educational travesty.

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