A teacher at a school in the New York City borough of Queens explained in an interview with the New York Post that she passed a senior who deserved to fail because of the “tremendous amount of pressure” to just graduate kids.
Andrea McHale, an instructor at William Cullen Bryant High School, admitted to passing Melissa Mejia after the Post published an essay written by the teen in which she complained about getting a passing grade in McHale’s government class even though she barely showed up, didn’t hand in homework and missed her final. She was ultimately allowed to graduate with a passing grade of 65.
“It was not an ideal situation,” McHale told the Post. “If we don’t meet our academic goals, we are deemed failures as teachers. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on us as teachers.
“I thought it was in her best interest and the school’s best interest to pass her,” the teacher said.
Mejia said in her Post essay that she felt as if New York City had given her a diploma she didn’t deserve.
McHale explained that Mejia passed her state Regents exams and did well in history exams, and there was a policy that students should pass the class if they pass the Regents.
“Her attendance was extremely poor, but she was a very intelligent student,” McHale said. “There is a fairly consistent policy that if they pass their Regents, it is strongly suggested that they pass in the class,” the teacher said, adding that passing the exams “suggests some kind of readiness for college.”
According to McHale, her bosses were in the know about the situation. “I did bring it to the attention of my supervisor, the assistant principal,” McHale said.
Read more at the New York Post.