Those rising graduation rates aren't looking too hot right now. A 21-year-old student at Lafayette High School in Bensonhurst was able to graduate along with half a dozen other students, even though they were all failing. One staffer told the Post, "They're giving out diplomas like it's a lemonade stand."

Tatiana Reina, 21 and at risk of "aging out" of the system, attempted to fake her graduation once in 2007. This year was her last chance to get a diploma, which required passing grades and at least a 90% attendance rate. One school insider told the Post, "She was a no-show all year." Reina had a different explanation: "There wasn't no problem. I just didn't go."

When she appeared during the last five days of school, she was given chemistry and health assignments to complete in the guidance counselor's office, where a worker claims she Googled all the answers. Despite her attendance and poor grades, teachers say they were pressured to pass her and other failing students. One who raised another student's final grade from a 55 to a passing 65 said, "I was told to consider raising a failing grade because the principal might not give me a favorable recommendation."

Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters says this is an unfortunately common occurrence, "If you're a principal or a teacher and your chances of getting another job depend on how many kids you successfully graduate, the vast majority will give these kids credit, whether they deserve it not." The DOE referred the findings to the Office of Special Investigation.