State ends MCAS cheating investigation

Investigators unable to determine who tampered with students' answers

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Education has ended its investigation into a potential case of cheating on the MCAS at Springfield’s Dryden Elementary School.  The investigation began in June 2014.

In August, the state invalidated MCAS scores at the Dryden School in Springfield after an investigation uncovered that someone had tampered with the students’ answer booklets.

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Media Relations Coordinator Jacqueline Reis told 22News the investigation is closed, but could be reopened if new evidence comes to light. It could not determined who erased and corrected students’ responses and in January, the former principal of Dryden submitted a non-disciplinary surrender of her Massachusetts educator’s license.

There is no evidence that any students were ever involved.

Springfield Public Schools spokeswoman Azell Cavaan told 22News they cooperated with the investigation, “We fully complied, knowing very well that MCAS, even the appearance of MCAS impropriety is something that we take very seriously.”

The state invalidated the school’s MCAS results in all subjects for 2011, 2012 and 2013 in August.

Reis told 22News that this does not clear the school of wrongdoing; something happened, but the state could not find the source.

Dryden is the ninth school statewide to have MCAS scores invalidated in the last ten years.

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