Under Bloomberg and Klein, the numbers of staff members monitoring test taking has fallen, and the DOE stopped doing the sort of routine erasure and score swing rate analysis which the Board of Ed had done previously. (These methods suggested the anomalies in Atlanta).
Sol Stern relates the case of a Bronx principal whose school's scores jumped in one year to unbelievable levels, leading her to receive a big bonus and honors from Bloomberg & Klein. After that year, the principal retired, and the school’s scores fell sharply again.
Shortly after the test scores were announced, Elba Lopez retired, collecting a $15,000 bonus for her school’s spectacular performance, thus boosting her pension by as much as $10,000 per year.
After promising an investigation, nothing was done because the DOE claimed they could not find the principal to interview her. Yet Yoav Gonen of the NY Post subsequently found her at her previously recorded home address.
Instead, teachers who came forward as whistleblowers to complain of corruption were punished and put in the rubber room; see the case of Maria Colon at Kennedy HS in the Bronx, for example.
When teachers reported these cases to authorities, the city would fail to follow up, and neither did the State Education Department. Routinely, the Special Commissioner of Investigation referred cases to the DOE internal Office of Investigation and vice versa; or they would refer them to the state, which also did nothing. As a result, cheating allegations would languish for years.
When teachers came forward with their allegations against Saraceno, nothing was done. After many months of inaction, teachers assumed the investigation was dead, and approached the media in 2009. About this scandal, Chris Cerf, who by that time was working for the Bloomberg campaign, said this:
Despite the lax response, a recent report showed confirmation of at least 100 cheating incidents since 2006. One can assume this is the tip of the iceberg. The number of allegations continues to rise, with Condon explaining it this way:
“When you start giving money to the schools to do well, that’s another incentive to appear to do well if you are not doing well,” said Mr. Condon, a plain-spoken former New York police commissioner. “If a lot of the evaluation is based on how the students do, that’s an incentive for the teachers to try to help the students do well, even in ways that are unacceptable.”