Philadelphia schools in cheating scandal

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Students in a Philadelphia elementary school have been getting suspiciously good scores on state exams, and school authorities are investigating.

Cayuga Elementary School, where 94 percent of students live at poverty level, has produced strong results for several years on state exams known as PSSAs, and has received increased flexibility in curriculum and public acclaim as a result, but teachers, parents and a student have come forward to suggest cheating paved the way, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday.


The school, with 12 other Philadelphia public schools, is being investigated by state officials for possible cheating on the 2009 exams.

A state review found a suspicious pattern of erasures on Cayuga's fourth-grade reading tests, the newspaper reported.

"My son came home one day and said his teacher kept telling him to erase his answers and write different answers," one unnamed parent said.

Philadelphia School District chief academic officer Peggy Nixon said in an interview that "the district takes these allegations very, very seriously," and that security for next month's testing cycle, and test-security training, has been enhanced.

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