Teachers charged in Philadelphia test cheating scandal

Teachers charged in Philadelphia test cheating scandal

A city principal and four teachers promoted cheating on standardized tests by changing student answers, providing answers to students and improperly reviewing questions prior to administering the tests, prosecutors said in announcing charges against the five.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Thursday that the defendants are accused of “perpetuating a culture of cheating” on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests over a five-year period. A grand jury found that after the cheating stopped in 2012, the percentage of students who scored well on the tests dropped dramatically, authorities said.

The School Reform Commission, an appointed board that oversees the district, in January fired three high school principals and announced plans to discipline dozens of teachers and administrators following an investigation into cheating.

The educators worked at Cayuga Elementary School in the Hunting Park section of North Philadelphia. Charged were principal Evelyn Cortez, 59, and four teachers: Jennifer Hughes, 59; Lorraine Vicente, 41; Rita Wyszynski, 65; and Ary Sloane, 56. Cortez lives in the suburb of Dresher and Hughes in Jeffersonville. The other three are from Philadelphia.

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