Several suburban districts and city charter schools have been cleared. The districts are: Cheltenham, Pennsbury, Spring-Ford, Wallingford-Swarthmore, and William Penn.
The cleared city charters are: Alliance for Progress Charter School, Charter High School for Architecture and Design (CHAD), Maritime Academy Charter School, Northwood Academy Charter School, and Wissahickon Charter School. The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, a statewide school that serves Philadelphia students, was also cleared.
State Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis ordered the probe of 38 districts and 10 charter schools over the summer after a long-buried report was discovered that singled out schools with statistically improbable scores.
Of the schools that have not been cleared, the Philadelphia School District has more than one third, or 13. Also on the not-yet-cleared list are Snyder-Girotti Elementary in Bristol Borough; Chester Community Charter School; and Philadelphia charter schools Imhotep Institute Charter, Philadelphia Electrical and Technical Charter, and Walter Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter.
Philadelphia officials have not publicly named the 13 schools that bear further investigation, but an Inquirer analysis identified them as: Roosevelt and Wagner Middle Schools; Strawberry Mansion High School; and Catharine, Cayuga, F.S. Edmonds, Lamberton, John Marshall, Thurgood Marshall, McClure, Munoz-Marin, Olney, and Ziegler Elementary Schools.
Several teachers from Roosevelt Middle School in East Germantown have told The Inquirer they witnessed deliberate test security breaches at that school in the last few years, including in 2009.
The teachers said they had seen exam answers written on a blackboard, students given improper test assistance, and other violations.
One Roosevelt seventh grader in 2009 erased 35 answers on a test, changing wrong answers to correct ones every time.
The odds of that happening naturally are more remote than 1 in 100 trillion. Winning the Powerball grand prize - odds of 1 in 195 million - is easier.
The state initially flagged 28 Philadelphia schools for possible improprieties, but a district internal examination cleared 15 of those. District officials have said that before they conduct investigations at the remaining 13 schools, they want results of state forensic analyses of the 2010 and 2011 PSSAs, plus assistance in completing any investigations.
State officials did not say Thursday when the 2009 investigation would be complete, or when the 2010 and 2011 reports were expected.
Contact staff writer Kristen Graham at 215-854-5146, email@example.com, or @newskag on Twitter. Read her blog, "Philly School Files," at www.philly.com/schoolfiles.