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District 150 Letter

District 150 Letter

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Published by EmergePeoria

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Published by: EmergePeoria on Jan 16, 2014
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01/26/2014

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309 672 6512 phone • 309 672 6708 fax • 3202 N Wisconsin Ave • Peoria, IL 61603
 
January 15, 2014 Dear Families of District 150,  As previously communicated, this past November, Peoria Public Schools District  Administration was advised of potential irregularities in standardized testing of special education students at Charter Oak Primary School dating back several years. We are writing today to update you on this matter. Our investigation was recently completed and last Friday, January 10, we submitted our report to ISBE. During its regular meeting Monday night, the Peoria Public Schools District 150 Board of Education reviewed and authorized the public release of this report
on the District’s website
 at www.psd150.org/COTestingInvestigation.  As you may be aware, these testing irregularities were brought to the Administratio
n’s
attention by the teachers and administrator at Mark Bills Middle School, when their analysis of student testing data showed a dramatic decrease in the performance of special education students once they arrived compared to their previous test scores at Charter Oak. We appreciate and acknowledge the courage and integrity of the staff members who brought this matter to our attention, and will take whatever steps necessary to protect these individuals and not tolerate retaliatory behavior of any kind.
Once the issue was brought to the District’s Administration, it then had an obligation to
investigate the reported irregularities. To have knowledge of a school that is a possible source of testing irregularities and not investigate for fear of community reaction, would have been wrong and cowardly on the part of this Board and Administration. To ignore this report or to fail to look into the situation would have amounted to a cover up. Therefore, we moved swiftly to engage our law firm to conduct an internal investigation and assist us in preparing a report detailing our findings for distribution to the Illinois State Board of Education.  As detailed in the presentation of this report made to the Board Monday evening, while
there do not appear to be any irregularities in test results for Charter Oak’s reg
ular division students, there are indeed substantial and unexplainable differences in test scores on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) and the 
®) for individual Charter Oak special education students. In other words, Charter Oak special education students were shown to have performed at a much lower level on the MAP when compared to their ISAT results.
The MAP test is widely considered to be a strong predictor of students’ expected
performance on ISAT and so these test results should have immediately raised questions

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