Report Finds Evidence Of Cheating At Elizabeth School

ELIZABETH – The New Jersey Department of Education has found evidence of “test security breaches” at John Marshall School No. 20, according to a security review report sent to the school board last week.

In response, Elizabeth Public Schools has suspended two teachers and one guidance counselor who are accused of providing answers to third grade students taking the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJASK) during the 2009-10 school year. Three other educators accused in the report no longer work in the district.

According to the state’s report, “The investigators determined a security breach of testing materials was committed by two third grade teachers, a third grade proctor, a teacher/tutor designated as the Alternate Test Coordinator (ATC), and the school principal as a result of: examiners and proctors influencing examinee’s response to test questions; completed or partially completed secure test materials being read either wholly or in part during or after test administration; a failure to verify the return of a test booklet by signing the return receipt of the Security Checklist; and discussion of test items during or after test administration.”

“We are incredibly upset that a building administrator and her subordinates could have engaged in such behavior, having set a horrible example for our children as well as the community-at-large. Our school board will take the strongest possible action against anyone accused of such a blatant attempt to manipulate tests,” said Board of Education President Fernando Nazco.

The state Department of Education also released an investigative report that found evidence of cheating at the Robert Treat Charter School in Newark, often hailed as a successful example of New Jersey’s charter school movement. The school’s principal at the time has denied the allegations.

Earlier this year, the department reported on evidence of Woodbridge schools cheating on standardized tests.

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