Basically, the district can't figure out who did it but someone did tamper with tests. The press release mentions security measures taken since then which is great except that now they don't do paper and pencil testing.
And naturally, there is no mention of the principal. This is a key issue because the principal is the head of any school building. The investigation had revealed some comings and goings at the school that seemed odd; isn't the principal responsible to answer for those?
It's understandable if there simply was not enough evidence to say who did what. But that doesn't mean there wasn't evidence that there was sloppy oversight of the test booklets. They do know who was responsible for that and yet that gets left out of the investigation.
From SPS Communications:
Seattle Public Schools (SPS) has closed the investigation into suspected test tampering at Beacon Hill International School from two years ago during the 2013-2014 school year. While the investigation found sufficient evidence that Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) test booklets were tampered with, it remains inconclusive as to who altered the test answers. Investigators were unable to identify any individual as the person who tampered with the test booklets.
The district first noticed abnormalities in the Beacon Hill test results in early August, 2014. The district immediately contacted the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and hired an independent firm to conduct an internal investigation.
Despite an exhaustive 14-month investigation, it could not be determined conclusively who may have altered the test results, or why. Due to the seriousness of the concerns, a need to find the facts of what occurred and provide clarity around the professional integrity of school staff amid such allegations, the district hired several investigators to examine the case. This included:
· An initial investigation which highlighted protocol violation issues. The investigator interviewed 21 witnesses
· An examination of MSP testing protocols, security documentation, 40 test booklets from the school and other materials
· A second stage investigation, which included a handwriting analysis. A handwriting expert examined written test responses and handwriting of school employees to look for similarities
· A second investigator to conduct a follow-up investigation to pursue additional potential leads
· Examination of more than 120 test booklets for comparison with handwriting of school staff members.
The Beacon Hill incident appears to be isolated; state test results are examined carefully by the district Research, Evaluation and Assessment team, which first identified and reported the abnormalities. No other school has shown similar issues.
However, during the Beacon Hill investigation, the district found ways to improve the testing process to provide additional test security and safeguards. The investigation found several breaches of MSP testing protocols, including a failure to follow test booklet security protocols, including improper storage of the test booklets and the reading of completed student test booklets.
While training and protocols around paper and pencil testing procedures have always been in place for principals, test coordinators and proctors, the Beacon Hill issue has raised even greater awareness of the importance of such procedures. Since the discovery of the testing abnormalities, several improvements have been made to enhance testing protocols and security, including:
· Added training and tools provided to test coordinators, who in turn train test proctors and school administrators to support clear guidelines around test security
o Enhanced storage guidelines so a clear protocol is identified as well as those responsible
o Enhanced paper test tracking document which adds further scrutiny to the movement of paper tests from the central office warehouse to schools (including tracking of those responsible and which tests they’re responsible for during testing days) and back to the central office
· Shortened the amount of time which paper tests are actually in buildings
· Random audit of schools to ensure testing protocols are followed.