An administrator and teacher at Camdenton Middle School are on leave while school officials and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education investigate alleged cheating in connection with the spring MAP testing.
The allegations were outlined in letter sent to staff members on June 12 by Superintendent Tim Hadfield. In the letter obtained by the Lake Sun, the allegations included a teacher signaling students regarding wrong answers on the test and untrained administrators overseeing the exam.
Other violations found in the course of the investigation indicate extra time may have been given to students during the exam and the testing protocols were not followed. The district has not identified what testing subject was involved.
The Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) is a standardized testing procedure used to evaluate proficiencies of school districts throughout the state in communication arts, mathematics and science in grades 3 through 8. The Grade-Level assessments are made up of multiple-choice, machine-scored items, as well as "constructed response" items. These items require students to supply (rather than select) an appropriate response.
The district could face sanctions by the state that could have an impact on the district's accreditation for the middle school.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Hadfield said the district is taking the situation very seriously. Details of the allegations and how the district learned of the possible improprieties are not being released at this time.
"At this time our district is working with legal counsel and officials from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education regarding allegations related to isolated incidents of alleged failure to follow MAP testing protocols at Camdenton Middle School," Hadfield said. "After conducting an initial investigation, the district self-reported these alleged irregularities to the department. No decision by DESE has been issued regarding the status of test scores which may have been impacted by a possible breach in testing standards. On behalf of the District, I can state this is being taken very seriously and we will strive to ensure the highest academic standards are in place for our students. This issue is ongoing and the district is unable to comment further at this time."
The teacher is believed to have resigned from a position at the middle school. The status of the administrator is not known.