As many as 18 teachers in the Glen Cove school district may have coached students to help them raise low test scores, district officials revealed last week as an inquiry into alleged improprieties in standardized testing intensifies in one of Long Island’s largest public education systems.
Additionally, district officials said that in March, they were alerted to a separate allegation, against Glen Cove High School, regarding a grade change, in which two administrators may be implicated.
The Nassau County District Attorney’s office issued two subpoenas in mid-April seeking information on alleged grade changes by administrators in the 2012 Regents exam as well as on the alleged improper test coaching by teachers at the elementary schools.
School district officials, who have been grappling with what might be the district’s largest cheating scandal, said last week that the investigation was launched after some students admitted in interviews that they had been coached by teachers during the administration of the New York State Grade 3, 4 and 5 ELA and math assessments conducted at the Connolly and Landing Elementary schools last year. The teachers were allegedly concerned about low scores.
District officials disclosed the existence of the investigation two weeks ago. None of the teachers were named, nor did district officials say how many students may have been coached. They stressed the investigation is ongoing.
Last week, the school board said in a statement that district officials were “disappointed to hear the initial information this past fall,” and that “the improprieties appear to go beyond one student and one teacher.” The statement said also that it was “particularly problematic, as the allegations suggest, that children were denied educational services that they would have received had their test results been free of teacher assistance.”
Last fall, the board hired independent outside counsel to investigate the allegations in order to determine the “legitimacy and scope” of the allegations, based on advice of outside counsel and input from the New York State Education Department. The investigation has been “professionally led by outside legal counsel,” according to the board’s statement.
The so-called “trigger” for the investigation was a parent’s comment to a teacher which raised suspicions about the possibility of test coaching at the two elementary schools. The parent reportedly requested services for her sixth-grader, who she said was behind in math. The services were denied based on too high a score on a Regents exam, according to officials. The parent is said to have responded by saying that the only reason her daughter did so well was that her teacher helped her, which immediately raised a red flag and opened the door for questioning.
District spokesman Michael Conte said it is common for the DA’s office to request records and conduct interviews with district officials and attorneys before deciding if the evidence warrants a grand jury.
Conte said the investigation is a “process that is codified, and there is “nothing arbitrary” about actions taken. Penalties range from reprimand to suspension without pay to firing, after impartial hearings mandated by state education law.
The board’s statement said, “...if the independent counsel’s report results in the Superintendent of Schools bringing charges against one or more of our employees, the Board of Education will be the arbiter of whether there is probable cause for these charges.”
“Make no mistake - these investigations are warranted based on legitimate, detailed concerns expressed by particular parents of young students, as well as other employees of our district,” the statement said. “We simply want the truth to come out through the process.”
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
Carle Place High School Student Organization officers and selected class officers attended a three-day leadership conference in Buffalo recently. The weekend, which started with a trip to Niagara Falls, was part of the New York State Council on Leadership and Student Activities 2013 State Conference.
“The conference was an invaluable experience for the student leaders,” said Erika Fallik, Carle Place Student Organization adviser. “It provided an opportunity to gain valuable information on project planning, community service ideas and projects, team building and fundraising ideas. It was also a great venue to network with student leaders throughout New York State.”
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
Christmas has arrived in Glen Cove. Keeping with annual tradition, the Winter Festival was held in Village Square the Saturday after Thanksgiving, complete with live music, hot cocoa, horse and carriage rides, and of course, Santa.
Throughout the afternoon, residents took advantage of the free horse and carriage rides around town and Santa was available to take Christmas gift orders and pose for pictures. Despite the brisk air and increasingly dropping temperatures,
about 100 people gathered to hear the Glen Cove High School Jazz Band perform Christmas carols and other pieces, followed by some songs from the Select Chorale. The vocalists gave a preview of their upcoming performance at the White House in DC, where they will have the opportunity to sing this Friday. The jazz band is an award-winning ensemble, led by director Nicholas Carbuto.
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
The Midget Cardinals team has brought home the Super Bowl trophy with a 14 – 6 win over Brentwood.
Even with the temperatures below freezing and the wind making it worse – the stands were packed with the Cardinals fans cheering on the Midgets as they played against Brentwood for the Division 1 Championship title game.
Glen Cove Cardinals started out strong and the second play of the game Damon Garner Jr. ran 65 yards to score a touchdown. Mario Fischetti ran and scored the extra point. Then it was the defenses turn to show all they had by not letting Brentwood gain enough yards to make it to the end zone. At halftime the game was 7 – 0.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
With grit, determination and all-out teamwork, the Friends Academy Boys Varsity Soccer team completed their quest for a third state soccer championship, defeating a tough Lansing High School, 1-0, in the New York Class C State Championships.
Both teams kept the game at a tight 0-0, until 20 minutes into the second half, when a throw-in from senior Patrick Moodhe (Manhasset) connected with the head of senior Jon Nierenberg (Sands Point) for the game’s only goal.