Former Principal Says Philly District Encouraged Cheating on State Tests

Saliyah Cruz, the former principal of Philly’s Communications Technology High, says district officials cultivated a “culture” that allowed cheating on statewide assessment tests, even though other measures showed students across the city weren’t actually making much progress. “The message quite clearly was ‘here’s what’s expected in the School District of Philadelphia,'” Cruz said, referring to the years when Arlene Ackerman was district superintendent. “All the principals, all the teachers, all the kids need to be able to make these giant leaps forward.” District officials had no comment. The news emerged the same day as word that Matthew E. Stanski, a former Maryland schools official who lost his job in a payment scandal there, had been hired as the Philadelphia School District’s chief financial officer. [NewsWorks/Philadelphia Notebook]