For the second year in a row, investigators found 20 violations of the state testing code on Fayette County Public Schools statewide tests in 2015-16, according to records obtained through the Kentucky Open Records Act from the state Department of Education.
Because of the length of the state investigations, Fayette County Superintendent Manny Caulk was not notified of some of the violations by letter until May of this year. Caulk received other notifications late in 2016 or earlier in 2017. Test results from the 2016-17 school year have not yet been released. Schools are rated according to their performance on some of the tests, officially known as the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress. Violations of other required tests also are investigated by the state.
Scores were lowered to zero in three cases. Two were at Bryan Station Middle, when two teachers helped students in responding to items on a test. A third was a teacher at Mary Todd Elementary who gave a special needs student extra time which wasn’t included in the student’s special education plan.
In addition to those staff members, other Fayette staff members will be required to have training or were reminded of guidelines by administrators because of violations, including:
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- A staff member responsible for letting an untrained volunteer carry test booklets at Southern Middle School.
- A Leestown Middle School teacher who left a test unattended.
- Staff who left tests unattended at Dixie and Wellington elementary schools.
- A teacher responsible for 16 students receiving the wrong booklets at Harrison Elementary.
- A teacher who gave two students the wrong booklet at Cardinal Valley Elementary.
- A Millcreek Elementary teacher who gave out a wrong booklet.
- A Garden Springs Elementary teacher who allowed students to move around the room before tests were collected.
- Julius Marks Elementary staff who posted confidential student information on a wall.
“Our district is committed to following all guidelines and regulations related to the administration of state tests,” Caulk said in response to the state’s findings. “We emphasize the importance of following state and federal regulations strictly, which is seen in the fact that our Building Assessment Coordinators self-report even seemingly minor incidents such as allowing a volunteer to carry a test book or allowing students to read while they were done with math testing, but before the test books had been collected. All of the employees who are still with the district have completed the additional training required and we will continue to be diligent in reporting testing irregularities to our partners at the Kentucky Department of Education.”