Fort Benning School Superintendent Christy Cabezas announced Thursday morning that an investigation substantiated that a teacher at Stowers Elementary engaged in inappropriate conduct by providing the answers to a TerraNova test, a standrardized achievement exam used by Department of Defense Schools.
Cabezas said this was done in one classroom during testing in February and that 17 children were affected.
She said that based on the results of the investigation, appropriate administrative action is taking place.
"We regret this incident occurred in one of our schools," said Cabezas. "The action of one individual involved in the incident in no way reflects the behavior we want modeled in our schools. This behavior is unacceptable."
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Cabezas who also oversees schools at Fort Rucker and Maxwell Air Force Base, all in the Georgia/Alabama District, said that due to the integrity and action of other employees, the incident was communicated to the appropriate school leadership and the administration was able to act quickly.
"We conducted a thorough review," she said.
The students will not have to take the test again. Cabezas said that the test does not carry the weight of the CRCT taken in Georgia public schools, which plays a part in student advancement, but is just a way of measuring student progress.
She that the parents of the students involved will receive a special portfolio which describes how their children are doing academically in the areas of science, math, language arts, reading and social studies that are covered on the test.
She said parents were concerned but not angry.
The testing was done over five days with a different subject each day. The teacher was removed from the classroom before the testing was complete.
Cabezas said the teacher is a federal employee who has due process protection and would not release the teacher's name. She would not say what disciplinary action would be taken.
She said she is not aware of any previous allegations of cheating at Fort Benning Schools.
She said that in Fort Benning schools there is strict test security and that employees are trained on the importance of proper testing procedures.
Cabezas said that Stowers principal Scott Sterry would make no statement on the personnel issue.