By: Krystle Crossman
There are many educators and parents that are against the new Common Core standardized testing. One group of teachers in Philadelphia took things a little too far. Four teachers and one principal were caught helping the students cheat on the standardized tests. They reviewed the questions of the tests before the children took them and changed their answers when they were finished with the tests. The case is now under investigation by a grand jury.
The cheating happened for five years and stopped in 2012. Once it stopped a drastic change in the students’ scores was seen. In the fifth grade the proficiency scores for reading dropped to 16% from 50%. Math went from 62% to just 22%.
This is not the first time that a group of teachers cheating has been noted. Nevada, Atlanta, and many other districts all over the country have fallen to the pressure. The higher the students score on these standardized tests the better the prestige for the principal. They earn promotions when their students do well. The schools that do not get high scores end up with faculty that are fighting every day to keep their jobs.
The four educators and the principal are facing charges of conspiracy, forgery, racketeering, and records tampering. The principal, Evelyn Cortez told the teachers to take the test booklets home and study them. She also allegedly disciplined any student or teacher that would not take part in the cheating. She also went around on test day and checked out the answers on some of the children’s tests. She would tap them on the shoulder and stand there until they changed the answer that she didn’t like.
The principal and two other teachers have been charged with felony records tampering, conspiracy, perjury, racketeering, and forgery. The other two teachers are being charged with forgery, conspiracy, and records tampering.