Grade fixing is a city-wide problem. When principals have all the power over staff and employees in their school, and there is no accountability, then there is trouble.
In order for principals to get away with whatever they want to make the school - of themselves - look good, they must instill fear in the people who work in their building. Fear is power.
Except when whistleblowers care more about the kids than their careers.
Whistleblowers brought down Maspeth HS Principal Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir.
Even whistleblowing doesn't always work, as can be seen in the case of Pierre Orbe (pictured below), Tyree Chin, Richard Bost, David Fanning.
DeWitt Clinton Principal Charges Teachers With 3020-a If They Do Not Change
Nothing happened to Orbe despite his continuous prosecution of teachers until he made a mistake that went outside of his authority and wrote something improper on his Facebook page:After allegedly posting offensive content on Facebook, Bronx principal faces investigation
Holden: Grade fraud goes far beyond Maspeth
In sum, extorting grade changing and doing something abusive to a child (whether it is true or not) is allowed inside the DOE until someone reports it to the police or an outside agency but NOT to the wholly-owned subsidiaries of the DOE, the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) or the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO). If a staff member reports to either of these agencies then the person who reported it is investigated.
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The Department of Education has removed a Queens principal for his role in a grade-fixing scandal first exposed by The Post in 2019, officials said Thursday.
The DOE said it will seek to terminate deposed Maspeth High School principal Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir after investigators substantiated a raft of academic misconduct charges against him.
A group of teachers told The Post in August 2019 that administrators pressured them to pass failing students and that staffers gave out Regents exam answers during the test.
Queens City Councilman Robert Holden led the charge against the misconduct at Maspeth and pressed officials to probe the school for several years.
“It’s good to finally see the principal removed, two years after I helped the Maspeth High School whistleblowers stand up to the corruption and intimidation and break the story,” Holden said. “They came to my office because they had nowhere else to turn. It has taken far too long, because neither the administration nor the DOE was in any hurry to investigate.”
The whistleblowers also reported that kids who did little to no work were graduated via phantom classes and credits.
The Queens Chronicle first reported Abdul-Mutakabbir’s removal Thursday.
“Following DOE’s investigation into Principal Abdul-Mutakabbir’s unacceptable behavior, DOE served him with disciplinary charges and removed him from payroll while we seek to terminate his employment pursuant to state law,” said DOE spokesperson Katie O’Hanlon.
Abdul-Mutakabbir has been removed from his post without pay and the DOE will now begin proceedings to terminate him outright.
“Our schools must have the highest standards of academic integrity, and we are working quickly to bring in new, qualified leadership to Maspeth High School.” O’Hanlon said.
Cynical students called their guaranteed graduations the “Maspeth Minimum,” and the school’s 99 percent graduation rate helped to land it a “Blue Ribbon Award.”
“Teachers are not allowed to fail students,” a staffer told the Post.
Staffers who refused to partake in the academic misconduct were targeted with trumped up disciplinary charges and other forms of retaliation, sources said.
Problematic students were allowed to skip class but still graduate because administrators wanted to maintain a strong passing rate, teachers said.
Holden cautioned that academic fraud is not limited to Maspeth.
“Grade fraud is a systemic problem throughout the city school system and we need state and federal agencies to investigate, including the U.S. Attorney, New York State and U.S. Departments of Education and the FBI. Our educators and our students deserve better,” he said.