Ex teacher alleges TCAP cheating - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ex teacher alleges TCAP cheating

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

A former Shelby County Schools teacher made some explosive allegations.  She claimed students were fed answers at one of two schools under investigation for possible TCAP test cheating.

"I had seen behaviors that I knew were inappropriate," said the teacher, who did not want to reveal her identity.

The former Alcy Elementary School teacher was not surprised this week when she heard the state was investigating possible cheating.

"Specific students expected me to give them the answers and they did it time and time again,” said the teacher.  “And after I walked by, another teacher would give them the answer. And so when it came time for TCAP, I'm pretty sure that's the way things were going."

The Tennessee Department of Education flagged Shelby County Schools for an audit because of test results from both Alcy and Larose Elementary. 

Officials said a high percentage of wrong answers were erased, then changed to the correct ones.  The former teacher claimed there was an insane focus on TCAP testing at Alcy.

"Because our school was one of the ones that was going to close," the teacher explained.

She said she shared her concerns on a survey and exit interview, but it was news to the district when WMC Action News 5 contacted them.

"We completed our investigation and never received such claims,” said an SCS spokesperson on behalf of the district.

“It is the duty of any employee with information about a potential breach of testing security to report it immediately," said a statement.

The former teacher hopes going public helps change TCAP culture.

"If you focus on testing skills, you're not really focusing on learning," said the teacher.

WMC Action News 5 asked this teacher why she no longer worked for the district.  She said she was one of the nearly 500 teachers laid off at the end of the year.

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