Secretary sold grades for $700
By Robert Cribb Staff Reporter
The secret deal struck between the student and the secretary at a private high school last year was elegantly simple: Money for grades.
It happened at the North York campus of McDonald International Academy, a licensed private school which charges its students nearly $700 per course.
“The student gave the secretary the money,” says principal Fraser Rose. “The student didn’t bother going to class but the secretary took the money and the student got the credits. This is obviously fraudulent.”
When the discrepancy appeared in the school’s computer system, Rose investigated and called the student to ask whether she’d ever actually attended classes or done the work required to get the two credits awarded to her.
“I talked to the teachers she supposedly took the courses from and they didn’t know her at all. (The student) told me she had at least two fraudulent credits. She didn’t attend classes, write tests or exams or anything.”
Rose reported the fraud to the province, according to ministry documents obtained by the Star.
He says he also informed the student’s home school that the credits should not have been issued. Then, he fired the secretary whose name he didn’t provide.
Could the fraud have extended beyond the one student the school caught?
“Theoretically,” said Rose, “but we couldn’t find she did it with anyone else.”
Rose, who spent his teaching career in the public system, says some of the concerns raised about private schools are valid.
“There are a few schools — and I hope they’re rare — selling credits and there are other schools like our own that go out of the way to try and maintain the integrity of the credit,” said Rose.
“We’re concerned because sometimes kids will choose not to come to our school in order to get an easy credit somewhere else or just buy it somewhere else. Kids will take the easy way and when they get to university, it’s not fair because they can’t cope. It’s a bad situation when that happens.”
Article taken from Toronto Star –