State finds adults changed student answers on Kelly Elementary t - 8 News NOW

State finds adults changed student answers on Kelly Elementary tests

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LAS VEGAS -- The state says that one or more adults at Matt Kelly Elementary School changed answer sheets on standardized test given in spring 2012. However, they have not been able to determine which individual or individuals did it.

The principal and assistant principal were told to stay home Wednesday, with pay, while the investigation continues. The state is also writing letters of admonition against the two educators, and they may face further punishment from the school board.

According to the Nevada Department of Education, it started an investigation in 2012 on a report of testing irregularity on the Criterion Referenced Test, or CRT, at the school.

The department interviewed 15 witnesses, including educators, the school manager, the assistant principal and the principal about the accusations. It also looked at more than 2,000 documents connected to the testing.

The department says there is no doubt that answer sheets were altered by one or more adults at the school.

Because of the investigation, the scores for standardized tests for Kelly Elementary School in the 2011 - 2012 school year will be invalidated.

Test scores at the school dropped significantly in 2013.

In a statement released Wednesday, Clark County School District Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky said he was grateful that the state took action in this case. The statement went on:

"It is important that our community have faith in the validity of our standardized testing. We use our standardized testing results to monitor student achievement growth and assess the success of instruction in our schools.The Nevada Department of Education has conducted a full investigation and has concluded that irregularities occurred. Once I have had a chance to review the department's full report and recommendations, I will take appropriate action so our students, parents and community can move forward."

After the allegations were made, the district sent an associate superintendent to investigate, but the state education department says that associate superintendent made an incomplete investigation.

State investigators even called out their own department for being too slow to react to the cheating allegations.

"The thing I appreciated about the report is its brutally honest and it says that people at every level, the school level the district level, the state level, every level probably could have handled this differently." CCSD Chief of Staff Kirsten Searer said.


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