Arrests, Charges Expected in Philly Cheating Scandal

Stemming from 2011 probe of the city's schools.

The Philadelphia School Notebook reports that arrests and charges are imminent in the scandal that saw Philadelphia schools allegedly inflate test scores by having officials erase incorrect students answers and replace them with correct answers.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education started its probe in 2011.

The state analysis showed, among other irregularities, that dozens of Pennsylvania schools had statistically improbable numbers of wrong-to-right erasures in their answer booklets, which suggested tampering by adults.
The existence of (a criminal) investigation came to light in January 2014, just days after District officials updated the School Reform Commission on the results of its non-criminal probe.
They said that 138 Philadelphia educators had been implicated — 69 from 14 so-called Tier 1 schools investigated directly by PDE and another 69 in 13 of the 19 Tier 2 schools investigated by the District. The SRC terminated three principals as a result of the scandal.

Since the probe began, the state has adopted stricter testing procedures —and test scores have dropped.

The Inquirer adds: “A defense lawyer who asked not to be identified said his client, a teacher whom he declined to name, had been told to turn herself in to police Thursday morning. He said state prosecutors had refused to tell him what charges the teacher would face, but said they stemmed from an investigation of cheating in Philadelphia schools.”