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The Lake News Online
  • DESE report outlines cheating details

  • The Lake Sun has obtained reports from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education outlining details of the investigation into the alleged cheating and improprieties during the most recent round of MAP testing at the Camdenton Middle School.
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    • Reported violations:
      •Teacher gave examples of similar problems to help students.

      •Some students were given extra time on the timed portion of the test.

      •Students were t...
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      Reported violations:
      •Teacher gave examples of similar problems to help students.
      •Some students were given extra time on the timed portion of the test.
      •Students were told to keep information about helping them a secret.
      •Teacher told the students she had read the MAP test and knew the answers.
      •Teacher pointed out questions that were wrong by shaking her head "no."
      •At the end of testing, students were asked to flip through test booklets so she could check their work.
      •An untrained person was allowed to monitor MAP testing per the building principal's request.
      •An untrained person transported test booklets per the building principal's request.
      •The building principal proctored the test instead of monitoring the building's hallways during test time.
      Recommendations from DESE to the school board regarding the teacher- Appropriate disciplinary action or charges against the teacher for immoral conduct as determined by the Board of Education.
      Recommendations from DESE to school board regarding the building principal- Principals should not proctor tests since the Testing Coordinator's Manual and Examiner's Manual states that building administrators should be monitoring the hallways during testing, all building faculty and appropriate individuals as outlined in the Examiner's Manual be trained to monitor MAP tests, school testing coordinator must report any discrepancies in testing to the District testing coordinator immediately and appropriate disciplinary action against the principal as determined by the Board of Education and the Department of Elementary and Education.
      DESE Coordinator's Manual 2013:
      Practices for Test Examiners and Proctors:
      *Do not review the test books before, during or after testing.
      *Do not paraphrase the item directions for students.
      *Do not react verbally or non-verbally to students' answers, or otherwise potentially cue students in anyway.
      *Do not allow test books to be transported by students or made accessible to personnel not responsible for testing.
      Practices for All District Administrative Staff:
      *Do not score, photocopy, duplicate or scan test books.
      *Do not edit student responses in any way.
      *Only the student can answer his or her test items and only during the testing sessions.
      *Do not return a test book with unanswered items to any student to finish or to edit incomplete/ inaccurate answers.
  • The Lake Sun has obtained reports from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education outlining details of the investigation into the alleged cheating and improprieties during the most recent round of MAP testing at the Camdenton Middle School.
    According to the documents provided by DESE, the alleged MAP testing violations are isolated to the middle school and two staff members who were placed on administrative leave.
    The report identified one seventh-grade math teacher referred to only as "Heather," the building principal and an individual referred to as "Mr. Kirksey."
    The initial reporting of the MAP testing discrepancies appears to be connected to several students who were in the classroom where the math teacher was giving signals to students when answers on the testing forms were incorrect.
    The report said the teacher was nodding "no" when students had the wrong answers. Referred to only as "Heather" in the report, the teacher is believed to have been with the district for about two years. The report said the teacher denied any wrongdoing.
    According to the report, 21 students were interviewed and gave similar answers. Other improprieties noted in the report include the teacher admitting to students what she was doing was wrong and could get her fired. The teacher allowed students extra time to take the tests and checked their answers at the end of the testing period.
    The students reportedly shared with others they had been given help with answers. One or more parents may have been responsible for reporting what happened.
    The district allegedly learned of the possible testing problems over a weekend and immediately launched an internal investigation.
    It was during the investigation by the district into the classroom allegations that other discrepancies surfaced involving testing procedures. The district self-reported their findings to DESE.
    The state requires MAP testing be done during specific time periods for targeted sections without breaks under the supervision of a certified testing administrator. Among the irregularities with the testing procedures identified in the report alleged the building principal allowed an uncertified staff member to oversee classrooms where testing was taking place, handle testing materials and had not followed the testing criteria that states testing should be completed during specified times and in one sitting.
    It is important to note that there is nothing in the report to indicate the building principal/Mr. Kirksey collaborated with the teacher.
    What DESE is saying
    It is possible the Camdenton School District will emerge from the investigation relatively unscathed.
    According to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education schools are on a honor system for reporting MAP testing irregularities.
    Sarah Potter, DESE communications coordinator, said the Camdenton School District has been nothing but cooperative and forthcoming.
    Page 2 of 2 - While it is too soon to tell what will happen with the test scores, the district will not face any financial penalty and will probably keep their accreditation intact, she said.
    The scores will be decided by a committee that will be convened within 30 days of the final report being submitted.
    Potter said the testing issue could have an impact on the school's annual performance report but that won't be decided until the committee meets.
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