- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 4, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - A new task force to monitor academic integrity in New York City schools was announced Tuesday by Chancellor Carmen Farina, who said principals and guidance counselors will have to attend additional training sessions to help them maintain high standards.

“Giving students the tools and skills they need to thrive is why we became educators, and when we don’t follow the policies that facilitate that work, we are selling our students - and ourselves - short,” Farina said in an email to principals.

The task force will provide oversight, as well as training, and will produce biannual reports on how well schools are implementing academic guidelines, the city Department of Education said in a release.

The Regulatory Task Force on Academic Policy will include one member from outside the department, and its work will be reviewed by the auditing firm Ernst & Young.

The announcement comes after the principal of Brooklyn’s John Dewey High School was fired last month over the school’s so-called credit recovery program. Officials said the program allowed students to earn passing grades without attending class or turning in any work.

Farina said the new task force will analyze credit recovery programs and graduation requirements and will identify areas where schools need more support. Schools that are not in compliance will have to develop a corrective action plan.

Farina said her department is “sending a clear message that violating academic policies will not be tolerated.”

The new initiative is expected to cost about $5 million.

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