SRC acts to keep testing honest

Ex-Temple prez David Adamany will oversee tests.
Ex-Temple prez David Adamany will oversee tests. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Posted: March 07, 2012

WITH THE Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests less than a week away, the School Reform Commission yesterday named former Temple University President David Adamany the school district's testing-integrity adviser and unveiled new testing protocols.

The changes come a week after the state Department of Education confirmed that Philadelphia's public-school teachers would not be allowed to administer the PSSAs to their own students. The Education Department is investigating alleged cheating on state exams at 53 district schools. (Two charter schools are under investigation as well.)

Adamany, Temple's president from 2000 to 2006 and now chancellor and a professor of law and political science there, will work with the district and state agencies to review testing procedures, as well as the administration of the test.

Adamany, who won't be paid for his services, will assist district lawyers through supervision of reviews and investigations. He will report to the SRC each month and submit a final report to the commission after 12 months, the district said.

Some teachers said they feared how children would be affected by a change in which teachers cannot be proctors for their students.

Wendy Coleman, a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher at Carnell Elementary School, in Oxford Circle, said that the stress of taking the high-anxiety tests will be ramped up by the change.

"It's not the best idea. It's going to be a problem for the kids," said Coleman, who teaches English as a second language. The recent arrivals "don't have a lot of friends and feel very attached to me."

The district announced that 20 of its schools will be investigated by its Office of General Counsel, under direction of the Education Department.

The department and the Inspector General's Office are investigating 11 district schools. The district is providing support but is not a partner in the reviews.


Contact Regina Medina at 215-854-5985 or medinar@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @reginamedina.

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