NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — John Dewey High School in Brooklyn now has a new principal, and there may be other personnel changes in the administration of the school followed by a now-substantiated grade-fixing scandal.
But as CBS2’s Steve Langford reported, none of this will help the graduating class of 2014 – which suffered most from the improper rush to push students who were not ready out the door.
“The charges are very disturbing,” Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said of the scandal. “As an educator, there is no excuse in my book for this having happened.”
After an investigation into grade fixing at the Gravesend, Brooklyn school that dragged on for more than a year, Fariña announcement about the firing of the principal and other measures came only a month after she told CBS2 there wasn’t much to claims of wrongdoing.
“So far, the majority of things in this case have been unsubstantiated,” Fariña told CBS2’s Langford on June 8.
The Department of Education Office of Special Investigation reported it has substantiated that school principal Kathleen Elvin’s credit recovery program did not meet Department of Education standards. Elvin has been terminated.
Two assistant principals at John Dewey High face discipline as well, just two weeks after the chancellor’s security got physical with CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer because she tried to ask about what’s been called “Easy Pass” or “E-Z Pass” — the scheme to graduate students who in some cases just had to show up or watch a movie for credit at John Dewey High.
Kramer: “They’re graduating, nothing’s been done, and there’s still a grade…”
Fariña: “There’s a long process and you’ll read the reports.”
Kramer: “There is no report, chancellor, because they say there’s been no investigation.”
On Thursday, Fariña said all city high school principals will be trained this summer in how credit recovery should be done.
Fariña was also asked whether the two assistant principals from John Dewey High who now face discipline will still be working at the school.
“We’re pursuing all avenues right now,” Fariña said.
Among the teachers who blew the whistle on grade fixing, there was deep concern Thursday for the fate of those students whose diplomas are badly compromised.
“What are we going to do about the students whose academic lives were cut so short; that were poisoned by time not very well spent in the classroom?” said teacher Michael Klimetz. “How’s the DOE going to address remediating that situation?”
In response to that concern, Fariña said: “Those children — we’re looking who they are. And we’re going to give them the opportunity to recover their credit in the right way.”
But as for the more than two hundred students estimated to have graduated from John Dewey High with “Easy Pass” last year – 2014 — Fariña office said nothing will be done to help them salvage their high school education.