With a failing grade in the last academic year, things are continuing to spiral down at the troubled high school.
Jane Addams High School for Academic Careers on 900 Tinton Avenue received an overall grade of F, scoring only 39.4 out of 100 points, by the city Department of Education for the 2010-2011 academic year.
As if matters could not get worse for the school, the DOE is now investigating allegations that principal Sharron Smalls engaged in a practice of giving students double the credits for taking a single course.
A meeting was held with a group of seniors on Wednesday, November 30 and a school official told them that they had been incorrectly given credit for some classes and would now be short of the number required to graduate in June.
The practice, known as “double dipping,” is believed to have been used to distribute geography, chemistry, and math credits for classes that were not taken. Andres Cruz, 16-year-old junior at the school, was shocked at the allegations and believes the whole issue is beginning to get out of hand.
“We’re hearing that she (Smalls) is responsible for all of this, but I think she only did it to help raise the quality of the school,” Cruz said. “What she did was wrong, but I think the media is beginning to get a little too personal and is releasing false information about her and everything going on.”
Only 45 percent of seniors graduated on time last June and although the school only has a performance rate better than four percent of high schools in the entire city, sources say that Smalls has been dishing out the unearned credits to give the school a better academic achievement rate.
Smalls, who is in her fifth year as principal of Jane Addams, is also being investigated for failure to report student suspensions and for charging faculty an undisclosed fee for the usage of on-site parking spaces.
Many students refused to comment, but Cruz said it has been tough for the seniors since the news broke. The DOE is working with faculty members and seniors in determining ways for the students to achieve the required credits for graduation.
“Personally, I think our entire school will be able to move past this,” said Cruz, who believes he will not be prevented from graduation as a senior next year. “I think the issue will be resolved and I don’t think it will happen again. I think the seniors this year will be okay.”
Reach Vito Signorile via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383.