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Bloomberg NYC Dept. of Education delays FOIA request on cheating scandals for 18 months. Nearly 100 NYC ‘educators’ implicated in cheating probes since 2006 incl. 17 principals, 61 teachers, some cases never made public, one school raised scores on 255 students

January 29, 2013

1/29/13, “Ex-NYCiSchool principal in Regents test cheat,” NY Post, Yoav Gonen

The former principal of the high-performing NYCiSchool improperly allowed one of her teachers to re-grade and raise scores on high school Regents exams, school investigators found.

She was among nearly 100 educators — including 17 principals, 61 teachers, seven assistant principals and nine other staffers — who have been implicated in cheating probes by the city Department of Education since 2006, according to documents obtained under a Freedom of Information Act filing.

It took the Department of Education nearly 18 months to comply with The Post’s request for cheating cases confirmed by its internal investigative arm, the Office of Special Investigations —

in violation of the rules governing public access to documents.

 Among the recent cases, NYCiSchool principal Alisa Berger let teacher Susan Herzog re-grade the June 2010 Living Environment Regents exam by herself

Herzog said she raised the scores given to students for certain questions after clarifying proper procedures with the State Education Department.

Berger told The Post that student scores were both raised and lowered, but that no students’ grade was changed from failing to passing.

“Did I make a procedural mistake? I did. Was it cheating? Absolutely not,” said Berger, who unrelatedly left the downtown school last year.

Among the biggest cases of cheating, teachers at Hillcrest HS in Queens were found to have bumped up the scores of

255 students on the English Regents exams back in 2006.

The case was never made public and

no teachers were punished because the re-scoring practice, known as “scrubbing,” wasn’t technically prohibited.

In another case, Manhattan teacher Iris Ventura helped several classrooms of 8th graders with the state’s high-stakes math exams at the request of MS 322 principal Erica Zigelman, investigators found.

Despite the DOE’s stated no tolerance policy for cheating,

they were both let off with letters of reprimand.

In 2011, Ventura was caught cheating again — this time telling four 7th graders to check their answers on the state math exams, probers found.

She was again let off with a letter in her file, and has since resigned, according to the DOE.”

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