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Colorado Springs teachers accused of cheating will not return for upcoming school year

August 5, 2016 Updated: August 5, 2016 at 3:50 pm
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Fifth graders at Stratton Meadows Elementary School finish up their math CSAP Thursday, Mrch 17, 2005. Mark Reis photo

Two fifth-grade teachers in Colorado Springs' Harrison School District 2 who were placed on paid administrative leave in May following accusations of cheating on state assessments will not return to teach at Stratton Meadows Elementary School this academic year, according to Superintendent Andre Spencer.

"They are no longer with us," he said Friday. "They decided they no longer wanted to remain in our district."

District officials reported the teachers to the Colorado Department of Education after a parent complained about "a potential sharing of inappropriate information" from teachers to students on English and math tests from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers system.

Per state procedures, school districts are required to contact the Colorado Department of Education when there is a suspected test misadministration or security violation, said spokesman Jeremy Meyer.

The state and district did "a thorough investigation" and "handled the information accordingly," Spencer said.

He declined to give the names of the teachers or the outcome of the investigation, which he said is now closed. It was not a criminal case.

Harrison D-2 has a pay-for-performance compensation system in which teacher raises are partially based on student performance. District officials initially said the teachers may have been working through practice examples.

Investigation could include interviewing or requesting written statements from adults with knowledge of the situation as well as talking to students, according to Meyer, who said he could not speak specifically about the D-2 incident.

Typically, disciplinary action is handled at the district level, but cases of misconduct regarding testing can be passed on to the education department's teacher licensing division for possible disciplinary action.

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