Cheating allegations in NYC schools have doubled in 3 years; some probes unresolved since 2011 http://shar.es/JcpIJMessage 1 of 2 , Apr 16View Source
Cheating allegations in NYC schools have doubled in 3 years; some probes unresolved since 2011 http://shar.es/JcpIJ
- By YOAV GONEN
- Last Updated: 4:28 PM, April 16, 2013
- Posted: 1:32 AM, April 16, 2013
Complaints about city public school educators illicitly boosting student test scores or helping them cheat have nearly doubled over the past three years, according to data provided exclusively to The Post.
A first-ever breakdown of probes conducted by the Office of Special Investigations, the Department of Education’s internal investigative arm, shows that 221 cases of cheating were reported to the agency last year — up from 128 allegations reported in 2009.
Overall since that year, the internal unit has received at least 623 reports of cheating and opened probes on 449 of them, but has substantiated wrongdoing in just 67 of those cases.
With the arrest of 35 educators in Atlanta this month for widespread cheating — and new calls for an investigation of questionable test scores in Washington, DC, under former chancellor Michelle Rhee — some say New York also needs to crack down.
“There’s no way to tell [the extent of cheating] unless you do in New York what the governor of Georgia did: put real investigators on it and use real investigative techniques to ferret it out,” said Sol Stern, a contributing editor for City Journal.
Stern points to a case of obvious score inflation at PS 33 in The Bronx, where test scores shot up by 50 percentage points one year and dropped down by nearly as much the next — after the principal had retired with a hefty bonus.
That case took OSI more than three years to determine there was no wrongdoing, without having interviewed the prime beneficiary - the principal.
A Post analysis of nearly 100 proven cases since 2006 shows OSI now takes an average of 10.5 months to substantiate claims, three times longer than it took in 2006. "The system has no incentive to prevent cheating because the system’s leaders are also invested in higher test scores. It’s the fox guarding the chicken coup,” said Sol Stern, a contributing editor for City Journal. The Post has also written about drawn out probes of JFK HS in The Bronx and Science Skills Center HS in Brooklyn where many stones - particularly those leading to top administrators - remained unturned.
Last February, a DOE audit of 60 high schools found that nearly 300 students had been granted diplomas illegitimately.
Nine schools with suspicious data were then investigated, but only one case - an isolated incident at Bronx Aerospace HS - was confirmed.
DOE officials say cheating claims comprise a minuscule proportion of OSI’s cases each year, and note that few are substantiated.
Roughly 15 percent of cases opened since 2009 have been proven, they said, while the substantiation rate for OSI’s entire caseload is about 50 percent.
“That’s further proof that we don’t have a cheating problem,” said a DOE spokeswoman, adding that more than 164 uninvestigated cheating allegations lacked credible information or were minor enough to be referred back to principals.
At least two active probes - at Multicultural HS and FDNY HS in Brooklyn - have been open since late 2011.
An investigation of Brooklyn School for Music & Theatre from early 2012 is also still active.
The city has an independent agency tasked with probing schools, the Office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation, run by Richard Condon.
Over the past decade, however, his office has referred all but a handful of cheating cases back to the DOE each year.
Condon declined to say why.
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SCI and OSI are two of the biggest scams. OEO is not far behind. I m investigating them, but unfortunately I don t have subpoena power and only FOIL. TheyMessage 2 of 2 , Apr 17View Source
SCI and OSI are two of the biggest scams. OEO is not far behind. I'm investigating them, but unfortunately I don't have subpoena power and only FOIL. They delay FOIL requests and hide evidence or destroy it. Perhaps I can pull some investigators in to my federal case and get some answers.
UFT Chapter Leader IS 49
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
*sent from my Galaxy S3. Please pardon any typos