Remarks Come Even Though Internal Probe Has Dragged On For Months


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Claims of grade fixing and academic fraud have led to a cloud of investigation for the graduating class this year at John Dewey High School in Brooklyn.

As CBS2’s Steve Langford reported, some students at the school were reportedly watching the film “Jurassic Park,” among other things, to complete course credits.

But following the grade fixing claims against teachers, an investigation has yet to yield any apparent results.

“It’s under… it’s ongoing,” schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said Monday of the investigation at John Dewey.

Fariña apparently was not pleased with questions from CBS2 about the probe into allegations at the high school in Gravesend, Brooklyn. The internal probe has dragged on for months as graduation day looms.

“Investigations take time, and there were a lot of different things in the investigation, and we’re going through them one at a time,” Fariña said.

But John Dewey High School social studies teacher, who is retiring this summer, said the scandal is a big deal.

“The fraud is massive,” he said. “It’s on a scale that makes me ashamed to be here.”

Goria said the school administration wants a higher graduation rate, no matter what.

“Hundreds of people have graduated that didn’t deserve to graduate, and hundreds have passed courses that didn’t deserve to pass courses,” he said.

The Department of Education refers to it as the Credit Recovery Program. Critics call it “easy pass.”

“There’s like a senior house, where people get credits just for basically being in study hall. I know about that. Homework, eat food and they get credits for that,” John Dewey High School senior Jacob Pena said in March.

But Fariña emphasized that the investigation must be completed.

“So far, the majority of things in this case have been unsubstantiated, so we have let the rest of the investigation go,” she said.

Later the Department of Education elaborated in a statement.

“If there are substantiated claims of grade fixing that affect credits students need to graduate, we will require those students to secure those credits, and they would not graduate on time,” the statement said in part.

But Goria said, “It makes me not want to go to the ceremony unfortunately.”

Some teachers charge the Department of Education has failed even to accept a significant portion of evidence the teachers say prove grade fixing.