Updated 06/27/2011 08:48 PM
Bronx Students Unable To Graduate Due To Credits Mix-Up
Nine seniors at the Performance Conservatory High School in the Bronx were gearing up for their graduation when a bureaucratic mistake prevented them from receiving diplomas, landing them in summer school instead. NY1’s Shazia Khan filed the following report.
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Moises White was all ready to graduate from Performance Conservatory High School Monday morning. Instead, he was told he'll have to go to summer school first.
“My principal stayed quiet,” said White. “She couldn't answer my question. She told me I was graduating earlier in the year and I came to graduation day today. She had no answer."
All told, 23 seniors were expecting to receive their diplomas, but last night and early this morning, nine students were told for the first time that they don't meet all the requirements. That includes the class valedictorian who's already been accepted at the highly rated Boston College.
“Very disappointing about the system itself,” said Marva White, Moises’ grandmother.
Some of the students were told they're missing credits because early on they were mistakenly placed in a class they'd already passed.
“If I missed a credit in ninth grade, why are you just telling me now on graduation day, and I'm a senior?” said Dae-Dae Holmes, a student who couldn’t graduate with the rest of his class.
Others say they were told their previous summer school credits didn't count.
"I've passed all my five Regents and I got 48 credits,” said Christine Serrano, another student who wasn’t able to graduate. “And when I come to school to see why I didn't graduate, they say when I went to summer school, those summer school credits don't count, which is stupid. I went to summer school. What's the point of going to summer school if it's not gonna count?”
Performance Conservatory was founded as part of the Bloomberg Administration's small school initiative, but it has not lived up to expectations. The Department of Education wants to close it, and there have been frequent changes in its administration and staff.
DOE officials say that the principal and guidance counselor have been referred to city investigators.
Students who did attend graduation said the mood was somber.
“We only filled out one row, half of the parents wasn't even there,” said graduate Ashmi Conteh. “Our principal didn't even come downstairs, our assistant principal came downstairs.”
DOE officials say the seniors who were not able to graduate will be able to get their diplomas after attending summer school first.