FBI Investigates Teachers Cheating on competency tests
At least 52 teachers from Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee have been accused of cheating on their competency tests by paying $1,000 bribes to exam supervisors for extra time to figure out answers, officials say.
The test, which 34 states require teachers to pass in order to earn certification, involves a four-hour general knowledge examination and a survey of the candidate’s subject matter.
Dr. Trudie Kibbe Reed, president of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark., where the exams were taken, says a school employee who worked for the college when the alleged violations occurred in 1998 ran the testing scam. The employee has since resigned in connection with other matters.
“It is a crime when the integrity of our institution is compromised by one person’s greed and lack of loyalty to the mission of our campus,” Reed says.
Officials at the Educational Testing Service, which administers the test, say they began an investigation after noticing questionable tests that may have involved fraud or cheating. The service then turned over all evidence to the FBI in Little Rock.
All of the teachers have had their test scores canceled by the testing service. It is up to each state’s education department to decide what happens to the teachers.
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