Many students of a New York City high school were fraudulently described as immigrants who were not fluent in English in order to gain more time for an important exam, according to The New York Post.
The Post said that teachers believe that the principal of William Cullen Bryant High School and her administrators were behind the misleading information about the students.
The principal was identified as Namita Dwarka.
“It may be a way to skew the Regents results, or skew the credit the school gets for graduating these students,” the Post quoted a teacher as having written to the city’s Special Commissioner of Investigation last week.
An SCI spokeswoman told the Post that the allegations were referred to city and state education officials.
The school falsely labeled the students as “former English language” learners to get them extra time on the Regents exams, which is required for graduation.
Many students who got the extra time, however, were native English speakers, and others who were not had become competent in the language years ago.
“I was born in New York. I grew up in this country. I speak perfect English,” said a senior whom the Post said had gotten extra time to finish the exam.
“I was rushing to finish when the proctor approached me and said, ‘Relax, take your time, you have extra time,’” she recalled.
“If I get a better grade, it will help me get into college,” she said. “On the other hand, it shouldn’t have happened. I don’t feel it’s fair at all.”
The Post said that school staff members are asking the chancellor’s office to punish the principal, adding that about 200 students, parents and teachers protested last week demanding that she be removed.