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Published On: Wed, Aug 12th, 2015

New York teacher Andrea McHale blames ‘pressure’ for passing failing student Melissa Mejia

A teacher at a school in Queens explained in an interview with the New York Post that she passed a senior who deserved to fail because of the “tremendous amount of pressure” to just graduate kids.

Andrea McHale, an instructor at William Cullen Bryant High School, admitted to passing Melissa Mejia after the Post published an essay written by the teen in which she complained about getting a passing grade in McHale’s government class even though she barely showed up, didn’t hand in homework and missed her final. She was ultimately allowed to graduate with a passing grade of 65.

Melissa Mejia photo/Facebook

Melissa Mejia photo/Facebook

“It was not an ideal situation,” McHale told the Post. “If we don’t meet our academic goals, we are deemed failures as teachers. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on us as teachers…I thought it was in her best interest and the school’s best interest to pass her.”

Mejia confessed in her Post essay that New York City had given her a diploma she didn’t deserve.

Mejia confirmed that she passed all five parts of her Regents exams by her sophomore year.

McHale missed the last month of school with a broken ankle but said she kept her bosses in the loop about passing the student.

“I did bring it to the attention of my supervisor, the assistant principal,” McHale said.

“The substitute teacher was also undecided in her case. I actually passed [Mejia], and her grade was not changed [afterward].”

 

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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