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One teacher quits, 5 suspended in Indy district

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An Indianapolis school district said Friday it suspended five teachers and another resigned amid an investigation into cheating on a state standardized biology exam at one of Indiana's largest high schools.

The Washington Township schools suspended one teacher at North Central High School for 15 days without pay, one for 10 days and three others for four days, the district said in a news release. A sixth teacher resigned.

The district said one teacher took notes on the exam and shared those notes with others. The district said it has submitted a final report on its investigation into the disclosures of questions on the state biology exam in 2009 and 2010 to Wes Bruce, the Indiana Department of Education's chief assessment officer.

The department continues to investigate the matter and has not determined yet whether to throw out affected students' test scores, spokesman Adam Baker said.

The department each year investigates "a handful" of allegations of similar disclosures on state standardized tests, Baker said.

"This is one of the most serious ones that we've seen," Baker said.

Washington Township said that in 2009 and 2010, a teacher took extensive handwritten notes on questions by looking over the shoulder of students while they took the test online. Students in subsequent years said the teacher quizzed them verbally on the material "and then students saw the same questions on the test," the district's news release said.

That teacher shared her notes with four other teachers who told investigators they did not use it in the classroom, but one shared the material with his spouse, an administrator in another district. Another North Central teacher who was an administrator at the time received reports of the breach but did not act on the information. The four who received the notes and the teacher-administrator were disciplined for not reporting the security breach to their department chair as they should have, the district said.

The teachers who received the notes have been ordered to turn them over to the school's principal to be destroyed, the district said.

"North Central High School is taking significant steps under district direction to review and tighten training and testing protocols," the district said.

Bruce, the Department of Education assessment officer, said last month that teachers are trained in testing procedures and should know that copying and sharing test questions isn't allowed.

Other states release their state tests publicly each year and don't reuse questions, but Indiana keeps most of the test confidential and it's common for questions to be repeated.

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  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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