Three Valley schools cited for testing irregularities

FRESNO, Calif.

The tests were taken in May of last year. The results released this month. Three of the schools with testing problems in the Central Valley.

Fresno's Cooper Middle school was cited, along with Freedom Elementary in Farmersville, and Oak Valley Union Elementary in Tulare.

At Cooper it was determined the teacher prepared students for algebra tests with questions that were nearly identical to those on the test and provided scratch paper that laid out the basic coordinates used in solving algebra problems.

At Freedom, in Farmersville the principal inspected and checked the tests after they were taken.

At Oak Valley in Tulare the teacher read the actual questions to students, and provided coaching on the answers.

In all three schools these irregularities were discovered by other school personnel and reported to the state. The punishment is the school loses itSs API score and ranking. High scores can indicate good schools and neighborhoods. Low scores can make the school and its neighborhood seem undesirable.

Some parents, like Wendy Monejano of Fresno, feel there can be too much emphasis on the tests.

"I think testing is great as a benchmark, as a way to tell how the kids are doing and how the school is coming along, and gives teachers an idea of how students are doing but I don't like the idea of teaching to the test."

Wendy's child attends Cooper Academy, a new school the district created at Cooper Middle School, where high performing students are invited to attend.

Nobody from Fresno Unified would appear on camera to discuss the testing problems but a written statement said:

"Most of the alleged security breaches reported to the District annually are irregularities that inadvertently occurred."

Teachers and administrators involved in the three Valley Schools were disciplined.

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