Report says someone tampered with tests at Hartford school - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Report says someone tampered with tests at Hartford school

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A state investigation into alleged cheating on the Connecticut Mastery Tests at Dr. Ramon E. Betances School in Hartford has wrapped up.

A few months ago, the Connecticut Department of Education looked into "possible testing irregularities"at the pre-kindergarten to third grade reading lab.

Three years ago, less than 10 percent of the students were at or above the target reading scores. There was word numbers may have been unusually high in years after. The state acknowledged on Wednesday that in 2013, someone may have tampered with them.

"The investigators determined that someone other than students altered certain tests," Hartford Superintendent Christina M. Kishimoto said in a statement.

Officials with the Connecticut Department of Education said, "Answers in student test booklets were changed as a result of outside intervention."

Investigators say in one student's case 26 questions were changed with 25 of them being changed from wrong to right answers. Another case cited a student who spelled their own name wrong but scored the highest possible level.

"Some of the students themselves who were interviewed could not believe that they had made certain changes appearing in their test booklets," the report for the Connecticut Department of Education stated.

However, it is unclear who "altered" those tests.

"It is distressing that no person has been identified as having altered the tests. A finding of wrongdoing without identifying any individual has a negative effect on students, families and staff. We are all left with unanswered questions," Kishimoto said.

Officials with the Connecticut Department of Education said they will not be releasing these test scores nor will they retest the students at Betances School. 

"It was necessary for the state's investigators to conduct their work carefully and thoroughly. The students, parents and educators at Betances deserve nothing less. The district's administration should now be focused on drawing upon the significant information and insight provided by the state's investigators and on coordinating the district's next steps in the investigation," said Kelly Donnelly, who is the spokeswoman for the state Department of Education.

Kishimoto said there are other exams they can give their students to assess their skills.

"Unfortunately, the district has not had an opportunity to conduct its own investigation because the state decided not to share information and evidence with the district," Kishimoto said.

To read the full report by the state Department of Education on Betances School, click here.

To read the full statement from Hartford Public Schools on possible testing irregularities at Betances School, click here.

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