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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


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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Old 06-11-2018, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: Records reveal dozens of city school staffers guilty of academic misconduct


Students fessed up to cheating scandal after McDonald’s meal
By Carl Campanile
June 11, 2018 | 2:58am

They coughed up details about cheating after munching on McNuggets.

Some students at PS 10 in The Bronx were taken by teachers to a McDonald’s in July 2013 as a “reward” for doing well on their third-grade exams the previous school year.

During the meal, staffers heard the kids talking about the test-taking. When the group returned to school, one boy confessed to a social worker, “I can’t take it anymore! They passed because they got help,” according to city probers.

The student was referring to his classmates, and six other students subsequently also ratted out third-grade teacher Lana Gorman, who allegedly provided at least some of the kids with answers or coached them on the English Language Arts and math exams, according to a June 27, 2014, report from the city Office of Special Investigations.

The child, identified as “Student A,” told the OSI that he had observed Gorman “whispering in students’ ears and passing them notes that had the answers on them,” the report said.

The student alleged that Gorman gave a different piece of paper to each student the teacher helped, and that once they copied the information from it, she threw the scraps in the classroom garbage can, according to the report.

The student recalled Gorman telling a classmate that an exam answer was “B: girl jumped off the diving board” and that “five times two equals 10,” the report said.

Another child, “Student B,” said Gorman pointed to multiple-choice questions in his test booklet, “whispered answers into his ear and gave him a piece of paper with answers on it from which he copied information for both exams,” according to the report.

Five other students said Gorman would point to an answer on their test booklet and say it was wrong and tell them to “try again,” the report added.

One student said Gorman put an “X” next to an answer on the test booklet to indicate it was wrong, according to the report. Gorman then allegedly circled back and put a check mark next to the question that was answered correctly.

During her interview with the OSI, Gorman denied giving answers to any students during the exam or coaching them to change their answers.

She said several students didn’t complete the exams, which she claimed was evidence she didn’t help any students.

Gorman said that when students asked for help, she replied, “Try again,” but denied giving out any answers.

The OSI said it believed the students’ claims.

“The allegation that teacher Lana Gorman assisted students and provided them with answers to questions during the administration of the 2013 NYS ELA and Mathematics Exams is substantiated,” the report concluded.

Gorman, who had earned $62,029 annually, resigned in September 2015 after a letter of reprimand was put in her file.

The Post was unable to find a working phone number for Gorman.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: Records reveal dozens of city school staffers guilty of academic misconduct


Teacher allegedly fed students answers to several tests
By Carl Campanile and Shari Logan
June 11, 2018 | 2:47am

Tomas E. Gaston

Former Harlem teacher Bertshunia Hillard is a repeat cheat offender, nabbed on two occasions for aiding students on exams.

The Office of Special Investigations substantiated two cases of Hillard, a teacher at PS 46 and PS 200, providing students with answers on state math and English Language Arts tests.

It was later discovered that she also previously assisted her third-grade students on the 2012 ELA and math exams, investigators said.

In each case, six students told investigators she would come to their desks and point to the correct answers.

Hillard told students at PS 200 that they should leave questions they found troublesome blank and that she would walk around and give them the answers, according to OSI interviews.

Students said Hillard provided them answers to the exams, according to an April 18, 2014, OSI report.

One pupil, identified as “Student C,” said that students asked Hillard for help during the tests and that Hillard obliged.

She read the questions aloud and gave the students the correct answers, the student said. Afterward, Hillard advised the kids to deny she gave them answers because she could get fired for doing so, students told investigators.

Hillard denied to investigators that she gave out answers and was reassigned to a district office. But then the OSI received more accusations of cheating by Hillard on the third-grade state exams the prior year at PS 46.

“Student S,” then a fifth-grader, said Hillard came up to her desk and put lines in bubbles on her answer sheet, indicating the correct answers, during math and ELA exams.

“Student U” said Hillard came to his desk and told him which of his answers were wrong on the math exam and then pointed to the correct answers in his test booklet. He changed his answers to the ones given by Hillard.

“Student V” also said Hillard came up to his desk, pointed to answers in the booklet that were wrong and said, “No, that’s not it.” Hillard then pointed to the correct answer for 15 different questions, the student testified.

“Student W” said Hillard circled the answer for four questions in her test booklet for the math exam.

Hillard denied providing answers or assisting students. She told The Post that she was the victim of retaliation by her principal because she had complained about delayed paychecks for working the summer-school session.

“I was pissed off. I was devastated. I was upset. How are you going to play with someone’s livelihood?” Hillard said.

But in its Feb. 27, 2015, report, the OSI found students “were generally consistent” in saying Hillard assisted them on the tests. She was fired in 2014.
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