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Under investigation, a school gets low marks from teachers

As the city’s investigation into grade tampering by a high school principal enters its second year, morale at the school has taken a turn for the worse.

A majority of teachers at Herbert Lehman High School who took the city’s annual survey said they don’t trust the school’s executive principal Janet Saraceno. And 81 percent said the principal is not an effective manager.

Results from the survey of teachers, students, and parents also show that in the “safety and respect” category, Lehman is getting poor marks. In total, 23 percent of the school’s teachers and 63 percent of students took the survey, which is below the city’s average participation rates.

Lehman has struggled with student safety this year and is likely to have full-time scanners installed by next fall. While most teachers said they feel safe at the school, a majority also said that crime, violence, and gang activity are a problem.

After I reported on teachers’ complaints that Lehman’s principal was changing students’ grades, Department of Education officials responded by threatening to investigate the teachers. Since then, teachers report that the DOE has not contacted them, nor has the Office of Special Investigations, which is tasked with following up on complaints.

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