At the Urban Action Academy in Brooklyn, New York, cheating “is so blatant, even intellectually disabled students pass rigorous state tests.”
So allege various faculty at the school.
Staffers also claim that one administrator said it was “discrimination” if teachers tried to prevent students from cheating.
Assistant Principal Jordan Barnett allegedly had warned school staff to “back off” and told them that “[they] themselves would not have gotten anywhere if they didn’t cheat in school.”
She said that “we cannot treat students like criminals,” and stated if teachers didn’t want to “work with this demographic” (the school is 81% black, 11% Hispanic) they should go elsewhere.
Principal Steve Dorcely, who has no teaching experience except as a substitute, pressures faculty and aides to “do whatever you can” to pass students, staffers said.
“It’s all done to boost the numbers and make him look good,” one said.
The 293-student Urban Action Academy posted a 61 percent graduation rate last year. But only 5 percent of its graduates were deemed college-ready.
Truant students slide, said a person familiar with the records.
In one case, a boy “has not physically attended class this semester,” a social studies teacher noted, but got a passing 65 grade and full credit. He also was passed in English even though he “does not come to class.”
When the Regents Global History exam was given at the school on June 14, students stashed review materials in toilet stalls so they could sneak information during bathroom breaks.
During Regents week, Barnett summoned staff to a meeting and ordered them not to check restrooms during the exams.
“This is educational malpractice at its worst — and a parallel to what happened in Atlanta,” a veteran educator said, citing the Georgia scandal that spurred criminal charges against cheating principals and teachers.
The DOE said the allegations were sent to the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools.
Ms. Barnett isn’t exactly an educational outlier here. We live in an age where consultants say being on time and giving grades are “white supremacy,” and where principals assert that standardized testing is akin to slavery.