Philadelphia, PA

Teacher allegedly trades grades for $10 gift cards to Starbucks

Ted Rivers

An investigation has been launched into a Philadelphia teacher, Samira Mack, who is accused of asking for gift cards in return for boosting students' grades at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts.
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This came to light when a student, who was worried about her grade at the end of a marking period, approached Mack with her concerns. The student and her mother claim that Mack made the offer to them.

The student, who has not been named, confirmed this offer was made to offer students at a rate of $10 for a five-point jump in the grade. Here's what the student had to say:

“I said, ‘Is there anything I can do?’ and she said, ‘I take gift cards to Starbucks, Target, Dunkin’, etc.,”

According to the mother and daughter who reported this incident, several students had taken up the offer of bringing in gift cards in exchange for grades.

“Most of them were scared of failing or their parents finding out. When your teacher tells you that’s your only opportunity, some people would do anything to fix their grades.”

After being told the offer, the student told her family what had happened, and her mother took immediate action, reporting to the police, the city, and the school's principal.

Monique Braxton, a spokesperson for the Philadelphia School District, stated that upon being informed of the alleged incident, an immediate investigation was launched. Braxton added that if the students' claims are found to be true, it would be a violation of the school district's grading policy.

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