City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott is reportedly "furious" after a Junior at the prestigious public Stuyvesant High School was caught using a smartphone to cheat (and help others cheat) on the statewide Regents exams. And with good reason! The idea that some of the smartest kids in the city would need to cheat on a multiple choice exam which barely changes each year—and which is then published and made easily accessible—is pretty sad. Not that the students' peers aren't trying to rally support.
Apparently the student, identified in a change.org petition aimed at Stuyvesant Principal Stanley Teitel as Nayeem Ahsan, was caught either by Teitel himself or a proctor using his phone during a Spanish exam last week. "Teitel came into the room and [Ahsan] had his phone visible from the door," a student told the New York Post. "Teitel took him out."
And the cheating ring wasn't just the one student, it appears that Ahsan was "among dozens of students on an e-mail blast — trading secret pics of the Spanish, English and physics Regents exams while also illicitly sharing answers." Ahsan has reportedly been expelled from the school for his part in the ring (the other kids have not yet been punished but their parents have been notified), leading some 251-odd students to cry foul:
“Nayeem Ahsan is a valued member of the Stuyesant community,” says the petition, which misspelled the name of the school. “He plays an integral role in school morale, photographing all major school events among the countless other selfless deeds he's done for the class of 2013. His absence would leave the senior class of 2013 defunct. Expulsion from his home for the last three years is an exorbitant repercussion for his mistake, Nayeem does not deserve to have his future ripped out of his hands, simply so the administration can set an example.”
Now, having gone to Stuy and even been guilty of cheating here and there at the school (it really is rampant) this blogger understands why kids would feel the urge to do it. But damn, children! Cheat on the real tests that your very, very smart teachers are making for you—don't bother cheating on the Regents! If you are having trouble with them you probably shouldn't be at the "crown jewel" of the New York public school system. Because, again, if you just buy the freaking red Barron's Regents books and take a few of the old tests the week before the exam, you won't have a hard time. And if you need a little help? Just check with the blue Barron's books, your teachers are already using them as lesson plan guides anyway. Jeez.
Stuyvesant and DOE officials have not immediately returned our requests for comment.