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MANDATED CHEATING?

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 Via Michael Goodwin: Teachers are reporting that cheating is rampant in New York City schools -- and they claim principals are the culprits. 

The reports are responding to my column that many schools are denying students the freedom to fail in a misguided bid to help them. To judge from the response, the problem is worse than I feared. Much worse.

First, a professional in a Manhattan high school wrote to say that teachers in her school are "encouraged" to pass 80 percent of students, no matter their grades or attendance. She offered student writing samples filled with glaring errors of spelling and grammar to prove that "social promotion is alive and well."

Now others are revealing shocking examples from their schools about how unprepared kids are being pushed along to the next grade and out the door with a sham diploma. Their disheartening tales deserve attention.

"Our mandated passing rate is 60 percent," one wrote. "We need to explain in detail why this student failed, what methods were used to get him to pass, how much home contact was made.

"The one group that is not called in for interrogation is the students themselves. No blame falls on them . . . The students know what is going on. It has empowered them to feel that they can work less or not at all and still pass the class."

Another, from a Brooklyn high school, says the principal fudges attendance and grades with a warning that unless the school improves, the Department of Education will close it and teachers will lose their jobs.

"The administration allows students to run around, go to class for 5 minutes, and we must mark them present," he wrote. "We are also encouraged to change attendance of students marked absent up to 2 weeks earlier, looking for 'proof' they are absent. So teachers just give up and mark them present."

He added, "Teachers are scared into passing students that do not deserve it."



Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/teachers_hostage_to_success_dmR2TxGjD85oGWJ3UCzp0O#ixzz1NvQJZLBt

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