Principal, 4 Teachers Face Charges In Alleged PSSA Cheating Scan

Principal, 4 Teachers Face Charges In Alleged PSSA Cheating Scandal

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PHILADELPHIA - Charges have been filed against five people in connection with the alleged PSSA cheating scandal in the Philadelphia School District.

Fox 29’s Sabina Kuriakose reports.

The educators charged include Evelyn Cortez, Jennifer Hughes, Lorraine Vicente, and Ary Sloane. Rita Wyszynski is also charged, but she is not seen in our photo above.

The charges were announced Thursday morning by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.

The group is charged with allegedly changing students' answers, providing answers to students and improperly reviewing PSSA test questions prior to giving the test.

Evidence and testimony showed that Principal Evelyn Cortez, who you can see on the far left, promoted PSSA cheating at Cayuga Elementary School.

According to the grand jury students were directed to record test answers on scrap paper instead of test booklets so teachers could check their work and this order was also broadcast over the school's public-address system.

"Damages the reputation of the school district and certainly the strongest message needs to be sent now that these indictments have come down,” Mayor Nutter said.

Mayor Michael Nutter reacts to news of the grand jury indictment of five Philadelphia school district employees on the allegations.

“I shocked, I do not know what to say. I think it's sad,” Mayor Nutter said.

"We are very concerned by the actions these individuals took. They were basically cheating students out of an education," said Philadelphia School District spokesperson Fernando Gallard.

"I would want to know how he really is doing in school and not him having to cheat or the teachers cheating for students," said parent Tina Torres.

Cayuga Elementary School parents say the allegations are a black eye for the district. They received a letter today explaining the arrests.

“Kids and parents trust these people to do their job and here they don't,” said grandparent Jose Luciano.

The State Attorney General says the five school staff perpetuated a culture of cheating at the school. The indictment says when scores went up school principals received promotions and praise.

Those accused are now on paid leave by the district.

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