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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cheating at Stuyvesant High School - The Lies of the Media

Two of my daughters got into Stuyvesant High School and I was on the executive board as well as Editor of the PA Bulletin. I dont understand what the media is doing with the "cheating scandal".

When Paola DeKock and her crowd attacked the chinese parents for asking questions about where the Parent's Association money was going, I joined forces with the chinese parents and we went to Scott Stringer's Attorney Jimmy Yan, the cousin of one of the parents who was in our group and also on the executive board who wanted answers on the missing money from the PA. I filed a FOIL request for the checking account, and spent two days looking at checks which were made out to speakers of the PA meetings; hotel accommodations for these speakers, etc, none of which were publicly acknowledged.

Stan Teitel lied to and cheated the staff out of Galaxy information, and when he tried to get rid of a teacher who taught Mandarin, I paid for a translator to meet with the UFT and saved the teacher's job. Stan allowed the attacks on my oldest daughter after I started blowing the whistle on all of this, including Paola and her gang, which led to my daughter's disappearance. The media would pick up none of this.

The media never picked up the story of why there is only 2% of the student body who are African-American. Guidance Counselors pick students for the test, telling students in Harlem and other parts of New York "the test is not for you". 3 of my 4 daughters attended middle school at Booker T. Washington MS 54,(108th Street and Columbus Avenue)  the most segregated school in New York City, and that's where I started my investigative reporting on imbedded racial discrimination at the NYC Department of Education. I was PTA President, and my daughters attended the 1% black program at Booker T., the Delta Program. When my oldest daughter got into the program even though we live on the upper East side of Manhattan, I had no idea that strict rules of racial discrimination were in effect. After I became PTA President, I found out the real story, and then Theresa Europe had the Office of Special Investigations come after me. Where, I wonder, is Mr. Richard Switach now?

Anyway, Stuyvesant is one of hundreds of schools where students are permitted to carry cell phones in their bags, but the cell phones cannot be seen. Schools like Stuy which have a very low minority presence have always been outside of the rules which apply to schools with minority populations. What does this tell you?
I still remember the call I received several years ago after Bloomberg made the disastrous policy that kids could not have cell phones at all, even hidden from sight. This policy was not enforced at "white" schools. I know, because I investigated. This mom who called me was very upset, after visiting her daughter's school, Wadleigh (before the name was changed to Secondary School for the Performing Arts) on West 110th street - and I also attended the Federal Court trial of Patricia Romandetto for racial discrimination by a former principal - and both mom and daughter had to go through the security, then spread their legs for an internal exam.
Now, the media would have the public believe that the new Interim Acting principal, Jie Zhang, is working with students to create an "honor code" on cell phones and cheating. The honor code was created years ago, before my oldest daughter was accepted in 1999. As far as the massive numbers of kids using their cell phones during tests, please realize that Stuyvesant has monitors watching the kids just like any other school does. I have spoken with teachers who are and were at Stuyvesant, and none of them saw cheating, all of them were monitors of exams, and none allowed a student to use a cell phone during a test. if we are to believe the media, these Stuyvesant students cited in the news were taking tests while (a) there were no test monitors in the room; (b) the test monitors were looking out the window, knitting, watching porn on their computers, etc., etc., all charges that I have seen at 3020-a hearings.
This is baloney. I'm not saying that a student didnt cheat, but Im saying, the test monitors and honor code are very much in place at Stuyvesant. There is something else going on.
So what exactly is the agenda here? To have the public believe that Jie Zhang got the position because even though she has a child at Stuy, she is the most qualified?
I dont know. But what I do know is this: Stuy monitors test taking just like any other school. Kids cheat at all schools. Media make up stories for a purpose which is dictated by an editor or publisher. Racial discrimination is embedded in the Department of Education.

Betsy Combier

 66 students at Stuyvesant High School now face suspension in Regents exams cheating scandal

City says it uncovered new evidence of misdeeds during last spring's standardized tests. Students texted one another answers during tests









After city found new evidence of massive cheating scandal, 66 Stuyvesant High School students now face suspension.

As part of Stuyvesant High School’s continuing crackdown after a high-profile cheating scandal, 66 students are now facing suspension, the city announced Friday.
 Over the summer, the city uncovered new evidence of misdeeds during last spring’s standardized tests, officials said....

The massive cheating ring saw students texting one another answers during Regents exams, the Daily News first reported in June.

In July, just six students at the elite school were facing the most severe punishment. The bulk of the students who’d received text messages were stripped of their leadership positions and the privilege of leaving campus during lunch.
Stuyvesant’s new principal, Jie Zhang — who took over after longtime principal Stanley Teitel’s resignation this summer — announced she’s working with students on the possibility of creating an honor code.

She’s requiring students and their families to sign an “academic honesty policy” in the meantime.
Twelve students are to begin their suspensions Monday, for up to 10 days, city officials said.

Another 54 students will face meetings with Zhang, who has determined that they will suspended for up to five days.
The school is also cracking down on cell phones, which are prohibited at all city schools.

Seventeen phones had been seized in the first two days of the school year, officials said.
Chancellor Dennis Walcott praised Zhang’s efforts Friday, saying “we have zero tolerance for cheating.”


Stuyvesant High School principal Jie Zhang steps up zero tolerance policy on cell phones

Ban comes in wake of text-message cheating scandal on Regents exams

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Stuyvesant High School stepped up its zero tolerance policy on cell phones after a text-message cheating scandal.

Read more:

Stuyvesant High School teachers are cracking down on cheating and the citywide ban on cell phones in school in the wake of an embarassing, text-message-aided cheating scandal.

Stuy’s new principal, Jie Zhang, has zero tolerance for cheats and cell phones, said students, who were the subject of the stepped up enforcement Thursday, the first day of school.

Stuyvesant High students (from l.) Jesse Dowdeswell, Russell Skinner and George Kaiser talk about crackdown of cell phones at prestigious Manhattan high school.
 "All of my teachers are a lot more strict about it," George Kaiser, 17, a senior.
Last year, some teachers would only give a warning if they saw a student’s phone, he added. This year, they’re talking about consequences.

“They said the first time you get a zero and a call home,” he said. “The second time you get a suspension.
Other students said pupils caught in the cheating scandal - which involved texting answers to the Regents exams from phone to phone - have been “voided," meaning they can't leave school grounds for lunch.

"They're trying to address the issue," senior Russell Skinner, 17, said. "Generally, the attitude is a little more honest, and rightfully so.

Stanley Teitel
Zhang replaced Stanley Teitel, who stepped down last month amid an investigation into the school’s cheating scandal.

Read more:

Amid cheating investigation, Stuyvesant HS principal resigns

Dozens of Stuyvesant HS students suspended for cheating

A dozen Stuyvesant High School students will be suspended for as long as two weeks and more than 50 others could face short-term suspension for cheating.
The punishments are only one component of the school’s renewed response to a broad cheating scandal that broke this summer. Stuyvesant’s new principal, Jie Zhang, is also requiring students to sign on to an academic honesty policy, urging the creation of an “honor code,” and cracking down on student cell phones.
Department of Education officials announced in July that they had determined that 71 students had cheated on final exams, with all but two receiving answers in advance to a city Spanish exam. They said at the time that a student who provided the answers would be suspended and not allowed to return to the school, the city’s most elite. They also said more punishments could come this fall but did not say how many students faced suspension.
Today, the city announced that the number is 66. Zhang informed the students and their families today about the suspensions, which for some students will start on Monday.
A second phase in the department’s investigation into the cheating, which is ongoing, is looking at the school’s original response. The department did not learn about the cheating until nearly a week after then-Principal Stanley Teitel sent a letter to parents informing them that some students had been punished, and the penalties the school levied did not match those outlined in the city’s discipline code.
Teitel barred students who had cheated from participating in graduation activities. But city policy calls for more stringent punishment. Now, 12 students will receive a superintendent’s suspension, which is meted out for more serious offenses and can last for up to 10 days, according to the department. They will have to report to special centers that the department operates for suspended students. Another 54 could face shorter-term principal’s suspensions. In a letter to the students and their families, Zhang said the punishments would be finalized in “suspension conferences” starting next week.
Teitel retired abruptly last month and Zhang wasappointed to replace him a week later. She said at the time that her first goal would be improving the school’s “culture” so that cheating does not take place.
“I have not been made aware … or have a reason to believe that there is ongoing cheating there,” Zhang said. “However, my top priority is to create a positive school culture that ensures integrity and zero tolerance for cheating.”
Changes were palpable on the first day of classes, students said as they left the building Thursday. Some reported being required to sign contracts in each class saying they would not cheat or plagiarize. The contract, which the city provided to reporters today, asked students to confirm that they had read an academic honesty policy and understood that cheating would result in no credit and possible suspensions.
One student told GothamSchools that teachers were also stricter this week about whether students could use electronic devices, such as iPods or cell phones, to take notes.
City policy bars students from bringing cell phones to school, but in some schools such as Stuyvesant where there are no metal detectors, the policy has not always been enforced. Teitel had petitioned the city for temporary metal detectors during testing periods, but the city turned down the request. The student who initiated the cheating scandal did so by taking a picture of an exam with his cell phone.
Zhang said she would enforce the city’s policy. During the first two days of classes, school officials confiscated 17 student cell phones, according to the Department of Education.
In a letter to families, Zhang said she is urging the student government to craft an honor code as “a public sign of our commitment to uphold academic integrity at Stuyvesant High School.” In the wake of the scandal, some have criticized the school for breeding a culture of competitiveness in which cheating is inevitable.
Walcott said today that he was satisfied with Zhang’s handling of the disciplinary issues.
“As we said at the start of this investigation, we have zero tolerance for cheating or academic dishonesty of any kind, and the students involved in this incident will now face disciplinary action,” he said in a statement. ” I want to thank Principal Zhang for her assistance and for the steps she has already taken to restore academic integrity.”

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