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Brooklyn high school accused of grade-fixing to boost principal’s salary

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GRAVESEND, Brooklyn (PIX11) -- A grade-fixing scandal at a Brooklyn high school has students and teachers outraged, with allegations flying that hundreds of pupils are earning their diplomas from John Dewey High School by watching movies and playing computers -- and that's if they do any work at all.

Some call it "Project Graduation." Some call it "Extra Credit." Others refer to it as "Easy Class." Either way, the process of pushing students through to graduation seems to be no secret at the school. Rather than traditional biology, failing students are allowed to watch movies like Jurassic Park to earn science credits.

"Jurassic Park is just the tip of the iceberg," said one teacher under the condition of anonymity.

The teacher called the school dishonest and fraudulent, adding that hundreds of students are allowed to graduate without earning the credits.

"Students who did no work, who never attended, were pushed through. Students that I failed had their grades changed without my permission," said the teacher.

The teacher says the orders come from Principal Kathleen Elvin, who wants to skew statistics that impact her salary.

"The whole idea is she can get bonuses, she can make more money, if the graduation rates are increased," the educator hypothesized.

Senior Angel Pachecho is one of the students who takes the "Easy Class" and says it's likely he wouldn't graduate without it.

"I'm actually really behind on my credits," Pacheco said. "I need to catch up and they thought it was a good idea for me to be in that class."

The Department of Education said a special investigator is looking into the grade-fixing, but students who hit the books say it's not fair because it devalues the diplomas they earned.

"We're working hard while everyone else is watching movies and getting credit for it," senior Badar Munir said.

Principal Elvin referred PIX11 News to the Department of Education for comment.  A spokesperson there said the "DOE takes academic integrity seriously and will take swift action if the ongoing investigation finds any wrongdoing."