Principal Plus Four Teachers Arrested In Standardized Test Cheating Scandal Probe


PHAWKER: So let me get this straight, 138 educators were being investigated for forging false positive results when grading their students standardized tests. But just ONE principal and FOUR teachers, from a low-income neighborhood elementary school no less, are charged with ‘fostering a culture of cheating? Seems more unrealistic than the test results they are in trouble for fudging.

INQUIRER: The principal and four teachers at Cayuga Elementary School in Philadelphia’s Hunting Park section have been charged with fostering a culture of cheating on standardized state tests there over a 5-year period, Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced Thursday. MORE

THE NOTEBOOK: Sources have confirmed that an unknown number of Philadelphia educators have been told to turn themselves in Thursday in connection with a criminal investigation by the state attorney general of cheating on standardized tests in Philadelphia schools. The imminent arrests were first reported Wednesday evening by the Inquirer. The criminal investigation and charges are the latest developments in a statewide cheating probe that began in 2011. The Pennsylvania Department of Education ultimately called for investigations of likely cheating at 53 District schools in Philadelphia and three city charters. […] The state analysis showed, among other irregularities, that dozens of Pennsylvania schools had statistically improbable numbers of wrong-to-right erasures in their answer booklets, which suggested tampering by adults. […] But these investigations have plodded along for more than two years without subpoena power or the ultimate hammer — criminal charges and the potential of losing one’s pension. The attorney general convened a grand jury and started a criminal investigation much later. The existence of such an investigation came to light in January 2014, just days after District officials updated the School Reform Commission on the results of its non-criminal probe. They said that 138 Philadelphia educators had been implicated — 69 from 14 so-called Tier 1 schools investigated directly by PDE and another 69 in 13 of the 19 Tier 2 schools investigated by the District. The SRC terminated three principals as a result of the scandal. MORE