FIRST ON 3: 17 students at Fort Benning school given standardize - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

FIRST ON 3: 17 students at Fort Benning school given standardized test answers

Posted: Updated: Jun 19, 2014 11:59 AM
FORT BENNING, Ga. - Fort Benning Schools has confirmed a teacher gave students the answers to a standardized testing being given in February, schools superintendent Dr. Christy Cabezas confirmed to WRBL News 3's Phil Scoggins.

An internal investigation revealed one teacher gave 17 students in one Stowers Elementary School classroom the answers to questions ahead of the next day's TerraNova testing, Cabezas said. Other staff members suspected the activity was happening and reported it to school officials, she said. The accused teacher, whose name has not yet been released, was pulled from the classroom before the conclusion of the week's testing.

In March, WRBL News 3 broke the news about the investigation. The teacher, who is a federal employee for the military post school system, will now go through due process and has the ability to appeal the school system's findings. Cabezas would not say what type of disciplinary actions the teacher may face.

Earlier this month, WRBL News 3 talked with the Muscogee County School District - which operates separately from its Army neighbor - into just how these tests are supposed to be kept secure. Tests are secured once they arrive at the school, according to county test coordinator Patrick Knopf. The exams remain under lock and key with limited personnel access.

"Only the principal and the test coordinator have access, and we maintain that throughout the testing window," Knopf told WRBL News 3 earlier this month. "No one is allowed into the testing room once the materials are locked up."

When it comes to administering standardized tests, there are strict procedures.

"We don't have any teachers testing their own students," Knopf said regarding his district. "In fact, in most schools they test off grade level. You may have a third grade teacher actually being the examiner for a fifth grade class."

Superintendent Lewis said they have also added a new layer of testing security this year.

"We have deployed people out to do random checks at sites to insure that the administration of the test if being done in accordance with the specified requirements," Muscogee County Superintendent David Lewis said during WRBL News 3's previous reporting.

Cabezas says Fort Benning schools has reviewed their test security procedures and may be making changes in the future. She would not provide specifics or an expectation of when those changes could be made.

The integrity of the testing process in Georgia was put in the national spotlight in 2011. An investigation then concluded widespread cheating  occurred on standardized tests in the Atlanta Public Schools System. In 2013, a grand jury indicted Superintendent Beverly Hall and 34 others for their role in an alleged plot to falsify students' test scores. Hall has pleaded not guilty. Her trial is set for August.<br><br>There was no indication whether the accused Fort Benning teacher could face criminal action for the alleged cheating.

Phil Scoggins

After taking 16-year break from broadcasting, Phil rejoined WRBL as a news anchor where he has been ever since. More>>

James Brierton

James joined WRBL News 3 with experience from CNN, NBC News and his own hyper-local news site. He manages the WRBL News 3 Web desk. More>>

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