Alleged cheating probe focused on Stowers Elementary - WRBL

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Alleged cheating probe focused on Stowers Elementary

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Fort Benning Schools Superintendent Dr. Christy Cabezas sat down with me today to give more details about an alleged cheating incident on post.  Cabezas says the investigation is centering on a teacher at Stowers Elementary.  She said she first learned about the situation when the principal at Stowers called her to report it near the end of the second week of Terra Nova testing which wrapped up on March 7.

I asked Dr. Cabezas how many students were affected.  She said, "It could be zero or it could be as many as an entire classroom."  She added that the parents of each child potentially impacted were called personally by the school principal to make them aware of the allegations.

Although Cabezas did not want to identify the teacher while the investigation is underway, she did say she is not in the classroom.  "Standard protocol when someone is under investigation is they are assigned to the district superintendent's office during the investigation."  This probe is being conducted by Dr. Sue Burdick, the district assistant superintendent for Georgia and Alabama. 

Cabezas told me extensive training is given to each person involved in the test-giving process at each school.  "Part of the training is talking about the testing ethic.  There's nobody that can be in a classroom around the test or administering the test that has not been training on testing ethics and security and confidentiality."

The Superintendent was clear about where she stands when it comes to cheating.  "We take test security and our students' academic achievement very serious.  Whenever there is any allegation that needs to be reported, we will definitely investigate it.  And if there's any wrongdoing, we will take swift and appropriate action."

Cabezas has only been on the job at Fort Benning for one year.  When I asked her if she was aware of any instances where the integrity of Terra Nova testing had been compromised, she told me she checked with district headquarters and said, "There's no history that any of us are aware of from Fort Benning."

She added, "One small incident can sometimes take away the attention from all the great things that have been accomplished."

Cabezas told me she thought the investigation might last two weeks, hopefully no longer.   

Phil Scoggins

After taking 16-year break from broadcasting, Phil rejoined WRBL as a news anchor where he has been ever since. More>>

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