An inquiry is underway into allegations that staff at Herzog Elementary School in St Louis violated testing procedures on the Missouri Assessment Program. Herzog was only of only 16 schools in the district to achieve ‘Adequate Yearly Progress’ status as set down by the No Child Left Behind act. It’s also been under investigation for allegations of cheating since 2010. However, as the current allegations only pertain to the science portion of the test, Herzog’s AYP status is not under threat.
Teachers reported that:
— Teachers were instructed to look at parts of the test in advance and prep students one day before taking that section.
— Teachers were directed by other school staff to leave answers blank on the science portion of the exam.
— Students were called out of class by school staff and told to redo portions of the science test.
— A student who did a makeup test reported to a teacher that answers in the test booklet had already been filled in.
These kind of accusations about cheating by schools to achieve higher test scores, league table ranking and, possibly, related funding are far from new and appear to be echoed all over the country as more and more teachers come forward to protest about what is happening. That they appear reported in dribs and drabs is perhaps because of the common report from teachers that they’re ordered to do these things by superiors and see their colleagues doing them; that there is a culture of institutionalized cheating that they will be reprimanded for speaking out against.
Two teachers who reported the allegations told the Post-Dispatch that they faced retaliation and hostility from school staff after coming forward. They no longer work at the school
While the initial allegations of fraud in St Louis included two other schools, the cases have since been dismissed by the district, leaving only the allegations against Herzog remaining. The investigation is expected to conclude in April.