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Old 06-11-2018, 07:25 AM
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Default NYC: Majority-minority lower IQ students must cheat with help of corrupt teachers to pass

https://nypost.com/2018/06/10/record...ic-misconduct/

Records reveal dozens of city school staffers guilty of academic misconduct
By Selim Algar and Carl Campanile
June 10, 2018 | 10:14pm


Joshua Levine, a fourth-grade teacher who students say gave them answers to exam questions. Robert Mecea


These Big Apple educators are rotten to the core — teaching their students to cheat their way to success.

Records obtained by The Post after a two-year legal fight reveal that dozens of public-school teachers, principals and other staffers were found guilty of helping students scam their way to advancement in city Department of Education during the 2013 to 2015 school years.

The cases of wrongdoing substantiated by the DOE’s Office of Special Investigations — to be spelled out by The Post this week — include educators who:
•Gave students answers to exam questions.
•Provided students test material in advance.
•Fixed or inflated grades.
•Helped students cheat to cover up not having taught the concepts in class.

Cheating and grade inflation move students along but hurt them in the long run because they struggle to master more challenging material in subsequent years, studies show.

That’s what happened at PS 116 in Bushwick, Brooklyn, a school where only 21 percent passed the state English Language Arts exam last year and 33 percent passed the math test.

A fifth-grade teacher there was baffled as to why his students were not performing at the level indicated on their fourth-grade exams. So one day, he asked his students to place their heads on their desks and raise their hands if there was a time when teachers gave them answers to questions on a state exam.

“Quite a few” confided that fourth-grade teacher (((Joshua Levine))) gave them answers to exam questions the year before, according to an April 28, 2014, probe by the OSI. The teacher said the students were “very specific” about the questions and assistance Levine provided.

The students testified that Levine provided them answers to the fourth-grade math exam after admitting he hadn’t even taught them some of the material.

“Student A” recalled another test-taker asked Levine what “congruent” meant. Levine then told students to briefly stop taking the exam and said, “I didn’t teach you this . . . congruent shapes are the ones you can divide in half,’ ” the girl testified, according to the OSI.

Another witness, “Student C,” recalled Levine saying, “Stop! I didn’t teach you this lesson.”

Levine told the students, “Just remember — a decagon has 10 sides,” the report said.

“Student E” said Levine stopped the class mid-test and reminded them about the number of ounces in a pound.

She also told the OSI that Levine pointed to answers on other students’ exams and said, “That’s wrong.”

Investigators confronted Levine with the students’ claims but after consulting with his teachers-union rep, he declined to comment.

“The allegation that Joshua Levine assisted students with the 2012 NYS Grade Math exam by improperly providing them with information and/or exam answers is substantiated,” the OSI concluded.

But Levine, a 38-year-old tenured teacher who makes $91,455 a year, was treated with kid gloves.

He received counseling instead of punishment for his misconduct and still teaches at PS 116 — and has even served on the school leadership team, records show.

Reached at his home, Levine told a Post reporter, “How did you find that out?”

He declined further comment and retreated behind the front-door shades of his home.

The DOE declined to elaborate on why he received no punishment.

The Post sued the DOE for routinely ignoring Freedom of Information requests for the information. The Post in April reached a settlement with the DOE to halt indefinite postponements and stick to reasonable deadlines for responding to such requests.

In general, the number of substantiated cases of academic misconduct is vastly underreported and just a fraction of teacher-assisted cheating is, education experts said.

“The DOE needs to increase monitoring. These are only situations where people have actually been caught,” said CUNY professor David Bloomfield.

He said cheating and grade inflation “further undermines public faith in the educational system.”

“It grants a diploma without subject mastery. It becomes a credential without substantive value, it’s an empty credential,” Bloomfield said.

Aside from hurting students, he said there’s a societal price, too, with the “cost of remediation” being passed along to colleges and “even the criminal-justice system and private and public employers.”

The DOE insisted it has zero tolerance for academic dishonesty.

“We treat academic misconduct seriously and take immediate disciplinary action as necessary. We have created an academic integrity task force to enhance training and support to ensure our policies are followed,” said department spokesman (((Doug Cohen))).

City education officials said once the OSI substantiates a case, it is automatically sent to the administrative trials unit or the superintendent for appropriate disciplinary action.
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