Wednesday, December 16, 2015

MDE charges Clarksdale principal with cheating

The Mississippi Department of Education issued the following press release:


MDE Charges Clarksdale Principal Lowanda Tyler-Jones with Cheating on State Tests

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) issued an administrative complaint on Dec. 16 against Lowanda Tyler-Jones, principal of Heidelberg Elementary School in the Clarksdale Municipal School District, for violating state law by knowingly and willfully cheating on state assessments.

This is the third complaint filed as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of testing irregularities at Heidelberg Elementary School. MDE is seeking to revoke the license of Tyler-Jones.

“Our investigation has yielded evidence that Ms. Tyler-Jones directed and encouraged cheating during the 2012-13 school year,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “As I have said before, we remain committed to pursuing the appropriate disciplinary action against those who were involved in the testing irregularities.”

The complaint specifically charges Tyler-Jones with violations of state law pertaining to mandatory state testing, as follows:

The Respondent participated in, directed, aided, counseled, assisted in, encouraged or failed to report any acts in violation of § 37-16-4(1)(f) of the Mississippi Code of 1972, during the administration of the 2013 Mississippi Curriculum Test Second Edition (MCT2).

Those actions are grounds for revocation or suspension of Tyler-Jones’ educator license. The hearing is set for January 18, 2016, before the Commission on Teacher and Administrator Education, Certification and Licensure and Development. The hearing will be held at the Woolfolk State Office Building, 501 N. West St. in Jackson.

“Principals are charged with ensuring that all of the students in their schools receive a quality education. Cheating by a principal undermines the integrity of the school, deprives students of an opportunity to learn, and puts students behind academically. A school leader who engages in this type of conduct does not belong in any school,” Wright said.

As the investigation progresses, MDE will release its conclusions to the public after determining what actions, if any, it will take in response to the findings, and after each person affected by such actions, if any, are informed of MDE’s decisions.

MDE strives to ensure that all students in Mississippi receive a fair and complete education. A vital objective of standardized assessments is to ensure that students who require additional educational resources can be identified so that they may receive special services if they qualify. Fraudulent MCT2 test results deprive students who need special services from obtaining them because their test scores indicate that they do not qualify for the services.

The investigation into allegations of cheating at Heidelberg began in May 2014. Former Heidelberg Elementary School teacher Frances Smith-Kemp was the first to be served with a complaint alleging she was involved in testing irregularities. Smith-Kemp surrendered her teaching license for two years on July 28, 2015. Former Heidelberg Elementary School teacher Tetra Winters was the second to be served with a complaint alleging her involvement in testing irregularities. The Commission on Teacher and Administrator Education, Certification and Licensure and Development voted on Nov. 18, 2015 to suspend Winters’ license for five years.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Charged?? MDE gots poh-leece? What's the charge -- aggravated ignorance?

Anonymous said...

Clarion ledger found the dishonesty just by looking at records.

Then Carey Wright hired her friend girls consulting firm for $1,000,000 to do the investigating on Ed's behalf.

Why did she need to hire anybody? She has a staff of hundreds and recently fired the dead weights.

I Nominate My Friend said...

11:30 asks 'why'. Simple........because she could. People pursue the power to write checks. And once they gain that power, it's a runaway train.

Anonymous said...

Caveon is the number one anti-cheating company on the planet and have worked with the department for 10 years. I'm fairly certain this wasn't a sweetheart deal for anyone.

I suspect @11:30 is either some of the dead weight that got fired, or was passed over for a promotion at 359 N West St.

Anonymous said...

Ms. has had a long standing spot in last place as far as education for a long time. Can you imagine where we would be if there wasn't cheating going on? Is there anything below last place?

Outcome Based Madness said...

This kind of crap will only get worse. Imagine the cheating that will take place when the ignoramuses put in place some kind of 'pay for performance' plan for teachers. It's one thing to pay piece rate for widgets; but, you will never design a good system of holding teachers accountable for student outcomes. There are too many factors beyond a teacher's control. But, it will one day pass the legislature and then the cheating will skyrocket.

This situation is actually an outcome of similar logic. The administration knows they will be retained (or not) based in large part on results of their student population. Never mind that neither the student population nor their parent give a shit.

Anonymous said...

Well, 9:35 am. A low-level staff reporter, making $23,000 per year found the cheating. And you approve hiring a Million dollar firm to confirm what the C-L found. You are part of the problem, Carey.

Anonymous said...

You don't think they are going to pass up the chance of sticking their hand in the cookie jar again? Everyone knows you can't trust a working man. It takes a million dollar firm to tell the people what most already know. Also gives them a chance to scatter a few dollars to friends.

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