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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Grades, Money, and Wine, or Pimping It Computer Science Style

If I ever worry that I'm veering toward an unhealthy academic cynicism, I can always remind myself that at least I haven't gone as far as this guy:
A college instructor is charged in a grade-fixing scam Wednesday. The computer science lab instructor is accused of changing students grades, charging anywhere from $200 cash to a $2,500 bottle of wine.

Police say it all happened at LaGuardia Community College in Queens.

Eyewitness News reporter Art McFarland has more.

Computer specialist Elvin Escano, 46, was arraigned Wednesday afternoon on a 137-count indictment.

A student comment on a school Web site describes Escano as an excellent instructor who gave you points for trying your best.

Authorities say he gave extra points, but for a price.

Escano was arrested at JFK Airport as he returned from a trip to the Dominican Republic.

Based on the charges, he could afford to travel.

Authorities say Escano accepted thousands of dollars to change student grades.

Escano reportedly spent the last two years taking individual payments as high as $2,500. He is also accused of using other students to steer business his way in exchange for changing their grades.

The college issued a statement saying, in part, "LaGuardia Community College fully supports the district attorney's prosecution. Administrators at the school uncovered suspicious grading and testing records in May 2006, and immediately notified law enforcement."

It is not clear what might happen to students who had their grades changed or who may be involved in the scam. As for Escano, he could spend up to seven years in prison if convicted.

A one hundred thirty-seven count indictment! Possibly seven years in jail! I'm not sure what it means to use "other students to steer business his way in exchange for changing their grades," but I love entrepreneurial spirit behind it.

Wow. Just wow.

 Scribble some marginalia

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