The probe into cheating on standardized tests in the Philadelphia School District now includes 53 schools, according to a report by the Public School Notebook.
Previously the state had disclosed that it was looking into institutionalized cheating in 13 city schools, based on suspicious results from 2009 tests. Once the 2010 and 2011 scores were taken into account, the Notebook story explains, the probe expanded.
Multiple accounts from teachers and parents accuse teachers and principals of helping students on the tests, giving out answers and erasing incorrect answers after the tests were taken.
The district was lauded during former Superintendent Arlene Ackerman’s tenure for rising test scores among students.
Current district Chief Academic Officer Penny Nixon was principal at at Wagner Middle School in West Oak Lane in 2009, when erasures correcting answers on tests were shown to have had a one in 10 quadrillion chance of occurring naturally. That’s 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000, for those of you computing at home. Nixon was an active participant at last night’s School Reform Commission meeting.