The city’s Department of Education (DOE) removed Maspeth High School’s principal from his position yesterday after substantiating claims of his involvement in a grade fraud scandal.
Principal Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir was accused of changing incomplete grades to passing grades and awarding undeserved credits to students. According to a DOE spokesperson, these claims were substantiated by conducting nearly 100 interviews with students, staff and parent witnesses.
The Office of Special Investigations (OSI) also looked at documentary evidence.
“Following DOE’s investigation into Principal Abdul-Mutakabbir’s unacceptable behavior, DOE served him with disciplinary charges and removed him from payroll while we seek to terminate his employment pursuant to state law,” DOE Spokesperson Katie O’Hanlon said. “Our schools must have the highest standards of academic integrity, and we are working quickly to bring in new, qualified leadership to Maspeth High School.”
Per State Education Law, following Abdul-Mutakabbir’s disciplinary charges, the DOE is pursuing his termination.
A hearing will take place, and if he is found to be guilty of any charges, he will face discipline as determined by the hearing officer.
Before the investigations were completed, the DOE made sure to monitor the administration of the Regents exams. Maspeth High School was not made aware in advance of the DOE’s oversight during that time. Superintendent Frederick Walsh also monitored the Regents and saw no improper testing protocols.
Councilman Robert Holden started to bring this scandal to light two years ago and criticized the DOE for moving slowly on investigations.
“It’s good to finally see the principal removed two years after I helped the Maspeth High School whistleblowers stand up to the corruption and intimidation and break the story,” Holden said. “It has taken far too long, because neither the administration nor the DOE was in any hurry to investigate. I brought this disgrace to the attention of the chancellor and mayor directly and there was no action taken.”
A phone call to Maspeth High School requesting comment on the matter was not returned as of press time.
The Queens Chronicle first reported Abdul-Mutakabbir’s removal Thursday.