Dr. Jan Britz is the Superintendent of the Burbank Unified School District. She says what's happened at McKinley Elementary is tough. Tough on the teachers. Tough on everyone. William McKinley, a "California Distinguished School" was singled out for something not so positive. It was on a list of 27 schools in California where there was cheating on the state standardized tests. In a state with 10,000 schools 27 isn't much, but if you are one of the 27 it is, as Principal Bobbie Kavanaugh told me, "a bummer!"
Being accused of some sort of cheating could mean sanctions against a school. Funding could be held back. A school IS stripped of it's scores on the State Academic Index and that's significant.
Also significant, in the case of McKinley, teachers who have worked hard to do a good job are impacted. That's what the Superintendent says. She says the teacher that got in trouble taught 3rd grade. He is accused of telling kids it was okay to change answers and when he saw an incorrect one he is said to have told them to change them. The teacher is not longer at the school. Britz won't elaborate, but says this was painful at McKinley because he was a colleague that other teachers knew.
How it happens or why? Britz can't explain. She says the district did an investigation and sent it's findings to Sacramento as it was supposed to. Now, it moves it. She says in her district teachers work really hard to follow the rules. When a teacher is caught "cheating" it is painful.