2 Philly Principals Surrender Credentials in Cheating Probe

Both are accused in an investigation that includes 53 local schools

Two Philadelphia school principals have surrendered their administrative certifications after being caught up in a widespread cheating probe.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education posted notice of the actions on its website Tuesday.

State officials had been investigating allegations that Barbara McCreery erased and changed student answers on standardized tests known as the PSSAs.

She was most recently the principal of Bok High School.

Officials had been looking into similar allegations against Lola Marie O'Rourke, former principal of Locke Elementary School.

The statewide probe of test results from 2009-11 so far has found that 15 districts or charter schools tampered with the exams.

The head of the Philadelphia principals union did not immediately return a message for comment.

A district spokesman could not be reached.

28 Philadelphia schools were flagged by the state for a high number of erasures on state exams, according to a 2009 study of state standardized test scores.

The state began its investigating into reports of widespread cheating after The Notebook, a Philadelphia education newspaper performed a forensic analysis of testing data. In their series of reports, The Notebook found that roughly 60 schools had "suspicious results due to multiple statistical irregularities on the tests.

The state is now investigating 53 Philadelphia schools for patterns on PSSA scores that suggest cheating.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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