Highland investigation: Did teacher help students cheat on ISAT test?

News-DemocratMarch 7, 2014 

AP GRAPHICS

— Highland Community Unit School District 5 launched an internal investigation this week into allegations that a teacher may have helped students cheat on the Illinois Standard Achievement Test last school year.

"We're investigating some allegations made by students that point toward testing irregularity," Superintendent Michael Sutton said Friday.

Sutton couldn't release any details about the teacher including his or her name and what school may have been involved.

Sutton said he expects the internal investigation to be completed soon. At that time, Sutton will submit the district's findings to the Illinois State Board of Education.

ISBE spokeswoman Mary Fergus said, "Our assessment division reviews the report, possibly gathers more facts and ultimately determines if scores are legitimate or if they must be suppressed."

Once a decision is made, a letter is sent to the district.

If the assessment division believes there was some possible foul play involved, Fergus said they will send the case to ISBE's educator licensure division for its review and to determine whether action should be taken to suspend the licenses of any teacher involved.

"That process takes time as it involves gathering more evidence, offering educators a right to a hearing and allowing for due process," she said.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or jforsythe1@bnd.com.

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