District 150 defends report alleging cheating
Peoria School District 150 now awaits the state’s review of its report suggesting cheating at Charter Oak Primary school. The report says special education teachers admitted to inappropriately helping students taking state math and reading tests. The report also says the principal failed to train teachers on how to give the testing and to report the questionable test results. School Board Attorney Stanley Eisenhammer says the report is inconclusive on why the alleged behavior was carried out:
“It in theory could be a variety of things. ‘I wasn't trained so I didn’t know I couldn't point to a bulletin board on concepts.’ That was just just negligence as opposed to ‘I’m doing this because it will enhance my job’ or ‘I’m getting pressure from the administration.’ ”
Eisenhammer says some students were scoring extremely high on the reading part of the test, at the same time they were learning to pronounce basic words in class. Charter Oak has made Adequate Yearly progress under No Child Left Behind. Eisenhammer says tainted test scores could affect the school’s ability to secure adequate yearly progress status. The Charter Oak Principal remains on administrative leave and will get a chance to respond to the report.