Problem with tests at school suspected

One teacher's role being investigated

Plateau Valley School District executives are investigating a teacher’s possible improprieties in administering state standardized tests over the last three years.

Plateau Valley Superintendent Greg Randall said Tuesday he hopes to wrap up the investigation of a single teacher at Plateau Valley’s elementary school by the end of the current school year on May 23. Randall declined to name the teacher or what grade he or she teaches at the school in Collbran.

The state’s Transitional Colorado Assessment Program tests, or TCAP, replaced Colorado Student Assessment Program testing in 2012 and are taken by third- through 10th-graders. Randall said the district is evaluating CSAP test data for 2010 and 2011 and TCAP data for 2012 for students who took either test under the teacher’s supervision.

Randall said “reports of some possible inconsistencies” earlier this spring prompted the in-house investigation. Randall would not say what the teacher allegedly did to attract an investigation beyond saying that there were “inconsistencies with protocol and how tests were monitored.” TCAP administration errors can range from a teacher accidentally leaving tests in the wrong place to changing scores.

Results of the investigation will be reported to the Colorado Department of Education, which will determine if any test scores need to be thrown out if improper test administration occurred. The district will decide if the teacher did anything wrong and, if so, how the teacher will be disciplined, Randall said.

“We’re looking at testing results and doing lots of interviews,” Randall said. “We’ll see what the investigation gives us.”

Randall said he is in contact with the state Department of Education, which was confirmed by the department. A department spokesperson declined to give any further detail on the investigation.


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