Parents outraged over possible MCAS tampering - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Parents outraged over possible MCAS tampering

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Questions linger after a state investigation found results of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests from the Mary A. Dryden Veterans Memorial School in Springfield were tampered with.

The tests under examination are from more than 300 students who were looked at during an investigation conducted from 2011 to 2013.

Anita Tirkot's children when to the Dryden School and she said she is outraged by the news.

"It puts so much more pressure on the children of this school who not only had to go through a tornado and rebuilding of the school. It's just been so much that these kids have been through and now they have the added pressure of this," Tirkot said.  

"I'm completely floored. I never in a million years would have thought something like that was going on," Tirkot continued. 

The school department said some red flags were raised when there was an investigation into high test scores at the school.

Authorities checked the performance level between the multiple choice section and the open response. They found there were some disparities between the two.

Scoring of the multiple choice was significantly high, while the open response answers were low. Officials say typically the two sections would be close to one another in the grading range.

Investigators also found a number of the multiple choice answers had been erased and changed.

The independent investigation conducted by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education found those two circumstances to be "testing irregularity" and invalidated the test scores of third, fourth and fifth grade students who took the test during the three-year investigation.

In a statement issued to CBS 3, Superintendent Daniel Warwick said, "We are always concerned with ensuring that our strict testing protocols are observed."

The investigation makes no allegation of cheating by Dryden students and Superintendent Warwick said the invalidation of the scores will not impact their academic standing or progress.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's investigation into the testing is still ongoing.

Springfield is one of at least four districts statewide to have MCAS scores invalidated for "testing irregularities."

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