Principal and Teachers Charged with Helping Students Cheat on Standardized Tests

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pennsylvania’s top prosecutor has charged a principal and four teachers with helping students cheat on standardized tests in what she calls a widespread investigation.

Officials say the five Philadelphia educators changed student answers and reviewed questions before the tests. A grand jury probe found the school’s test scores fell sharply after the cheating stopped.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane says the felony charges filed Thursday are the first in a widespread investigation. She says it’s disturbing that young children were taught to cheat — and were cheated out of an education.

Test cheating scandals have broken out in Atlanta and elsewhere as public officials link scores to school funding.

Defense lawyer Marc Neff represents accused Philadelphia principal Evelyn Cortez. He says the pressure to raise test scores was “systemic” in Philadelphia.

(Copyright 2014, The Associated Press, All rights reserved.)

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