Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.
And those who can’t teach, cheat.
New York’s NBC affiliate WNBC reports that the city’s department of education is investigating a Queens high school that has been accused of falsifying student grades to shore up its otherwise abysmal graduation rates. “Ensuring our high school students get the high-quality instruction and meet the standards needed to earn credit and graduate is critical,” the department is quoted as saying.
William Cullen Bryant High School may be falling short of offering high-quality instruction and its standards may be low — but that doesn’t mean students aren’t graduating. Many like Peter McGroary, a dropout, are finding that their grades are being artificially inflated. McGroary says he received a passing grade in a gym class he never attended.
His teacher, Peter Maliarakis, says he didn’t change the grade but suspects that someone did, adding:
A bunch of students getting credit who are basically sleeping in their beds, not coming to school. A student told me they had him draw on a poster and that’s how he got credit.
Gus Prentzas, a former president of the school’s Parent Association, told reporters, “It makes the principal and school look good. In the long run it’s hurting the children.”
The situation is unacceptable, but sadly it is by no means uncommon. In March, an article in the Los Angeles Times revealed that the SAT — the standardized test used as a key metric by college admissions offices — was being rigged so that black and Hispanic students received “bonus” points on their scores, while high-performing Asian students were were docked points to level the playing field. In April, 11 teachers in Atlanta were convicted in an epic cheating scandal that included grade fixing and other unorthodox practices and were sentenced to prison terms.