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Addams Expels Smalls

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Jane Addams High School principal Sharon Smalls, who was accused of giving students credits they did not earn, has left the position.

“She has resigned, to be effective Friday,” said Marge Feinberg, a representative of the Department of Education.

According to Feinberg, Smalls will step down from her current post to take an assistant principalship, presumably some where else in the district. Joel T. DiBartolomeo will assume the principal position.

DiBartolomeo started his career in Philadelphia, PA as a social studies teacher, where he eventually went on to serve as principal and administrator.

Smalls, who was in her fifth year as principal at the high school, is also being investigated for allegedly failing to report student suspensions and also allegedly charging faculty members an undisclosed fee for the usage of an on-site parking lot.

On November 30, 2011, a meeting between a school official and a small group of seniors, was held to discuss the improperly distributed credits.

Students were informed that they had received an incorrect number of credits and would not be eligible for graduation in June. The exact number of students effected was not confirmed by the NYC Department of Education.

The extra credits that were distributed are believed to be in the subjects of geography, math, and chemistry, all classes that do not appear to have been taken by the students. According to administrators, credits were given in geography for classes taken in tourism and credits in chemistry were given for classes taken in cosmetology.

Sources say Smalls may have been giving out the unearned credits to increase the school academic achievement rate, to counter efforts to phase the school out.

The high school for academic careers received an overall grade of F, scoring only 39.4 out of 100 points by the Department of Education for the 2010-2011 academic year.

The Department of Education said they have advised seniors who are on target to graduate in June to meet with their guidance counselors to determine that each student has the requisite courses they will need to graduate.

The school’s performance rate ranks above only four other schools in the district with only a 45 percent graduation rate as of last June.

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