in Brooklyn (hat tip: Gotham Schools
) got the boot the other day for changing grades on student report cards so that fewer students would fail. I know for a fact that she's not the only NYC school administrator to do this, and I wonder how widespread this is.
I have personally witnessed principals doing hanky panky with the grades and credits. One kid showed up in my class only one time the entire semester. Near the end of the year I was told the kid needs one credit to graduate and that the principal wants me to sign off on giving the kid the credit. I said I wanted it in writing that I was to give the kid the credit. Later I was informed that the principal just gave the kid the missing credit without me needing to sign anything. He then graduated. (The principal then started a campaign of harassment against me and railroaded me out, even though I had a legit 90% pass rate for my students on the Regents! And this was in a SURR school!) Our previous principal was notorious for inflating grades and giving unearned credits, so much so, that the normally bubbly Teach for America 22 year olds were up in arms and leading a rebellion against her. (We lost so many TfA kids each year due to the "charms" of the admin.) Oftentimes, kids would come to me after they received their report cards and thank me for giving them such good grades, and, to my surprise, when I looked at the grade sheets I turned in, the two figures didn't match. Our AP would routinely change regents scores for the utterly hopeless and behind kids whom she wanted to graduate "out of the school." I couldn't stand the dishonesty from the administration. That's why I'm in private schools now!
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