Camdenton School Could Take Financial Hit Over MAP Cheating Allegations

Camdenton School Could Take Financial Hit Over MAP Cheating Allegations

Camdenton School Could Take Financial Hit Over MAP Cheating Allegations

By: Lindsay Clein
Updated: June 19, 2013
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CAMDENTON, Mo. -- Staff members are on leave at a school after allegations that they may have signaled answers to students on a test.
The Missouri Assessment Program, also known as "MAP," is a standardized test that evaluates students in communication arts, mathematics and science.
The testing violations were reported at Camdenton Middle School. The District Testing Coordinator launched the investigation after reports were received about a month ago.
Right now, these reports are strictly allegations, but district leaders felt they had enough merit to notify the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
"We received reports of possible violations of testing protocol," says Camdenton Schools Superintendent Tim Hadfield. "Which could've included isolated events of signaling to students regarding answers and scheduling violations that testing schedules weren't followed."
While no truth to the cheating has been proven at this time, it's something the district won't stand for.
"It causes you to pause as a district and we want to do it right," Hadfield says. "We need to do our due diligence and are dealing with allegations, not facts, and want to do what we have to do to get to the bottom of things."
The MAP test is made up of multiple choice, machine-scored items and constructed response items. Camdenton Middle School has a history of high scores.
"As a district, we've attained the state's highest level of accreditation every year possible under the Missouri School Improvement Program," Hadfield says.
If these allegations prove to be true, the school could lose some funding.
"We don't know how DESE will respond to the investigation," Hadfield says. "Accreditation of course is tied to our performance and part of that is how we would score on the MAP exam.  So if tests are invalidated and the allegations are proven, that could have an impact on that."
Around 650 students attend Camdenton Middle School and we spoke to some of their parents.
"I don't believe that," says Anita Rucker. "I have children there and they do help, but they don't give the answers. The kids are too stressed and you can tell that by the time they come home from MAP testing all week. I just think someone is trying to keep the school from getting the financing they need."
The parents we spoke to say if the allegations prove to be true, they'll be shocked.
"We need to continue the investigation," Hadfield says. "And look into the validity of the allegations."
The parents we spoke to say teachers are in the room proctoring these tests and that they're allowed to help kids understand the problems.
The superintendent tells us there have been concerns on the MAP test investigated in the past, but no merit was found to those.

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