Three give up teaching credentials in Phila. cheating scandal

Posted: August 01, 2014

The fallout from a cheating scandal in the Philadelphia School District continues.

Three retired teachers surrendered their professional credentials last month for allegedly engaging in "multiple PSSA testing violations" related to Pennsylvania's system of standardized tests, according to the state Department of Education.

Information posted on the department's website Wednesday identified the three as Alene S. Goldstein, Deborah L. Edwards-Dillard, and Phyllis R. Patselas.

All three agreed to never seek jobs at a public school, charter school, or cyber school, or with a contracted educational provider.

None of the women could be reached for comment Wednesday.

District spokesman Fernando Gallard said Goldstein and Patselas, both 67, spent their entire careers at Olney Elementary School and retired in 2008.

Patselas, who joined the district in 1972, continued working after she retired as a per diem substitute at various schools through the last academic year.

Goldstein started with the Philadelphia schools in 1971. She worked as a per diem substitute through 2012-13.

Edwards-Dillard, 61, was hired by the district in 1978 and retired from Elverson Military Academy in 2013.

She is the third educator from the military school to be disciplined in the cheating probe. This summer, the Department of Education said a former principal and a teacher had surrendered their credentials.

A total of six district educators have relinquished their certifications to settle cheating allegations.

In addition, three principals were fired in January for cheating, and five educators from Cayuga Elementary School in Hunting Park are facing criminal charges. The five, which include a former principal, were charged in May by state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane in May with tampering with public records, forgery, conspiracy, and other offenses.

District officials have said 138 educators had been implicated in widespread cheating on the state's standardized tests.

The state began its probe into PSSA irregularities in 2011 after The Inquirer reported allegations that cheating was responsible for gains in 2009 at Roosevelt Middle School in East Germantown. A state-commissioned analysis of the 2009 PSSA also surfaced that identified suspicious patterns of erasures at schools across the state.


martha.woodall@phillynews.com215-854-2789

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