Two on Leave As Cheating Probe Continues

Two officials at a Hartford elementary school are now on leave as the district continues to investigate a cheating scandal related to standardized tests.

The principal of the Betances Early Reading Lab, Immacula Didier, and the school's literacy coach, Linda Liss-Bronstein, were both placed on leave last week, according to Matthew Poland, the chairman of the city's Board of Education.

A letter from Dr. Christina Kishimoto, the district's superintendent, sent out last week alerted parents that an interim principal, Delores Cole, is now in place at the school. 

The letter states, "We took this necessary action to avoid any disruptions or distractions to your child's education at Betances, while the district investigates CMT testing irregularities that occurred last spring."

The moves come after a state investigation determined hundreds of answers on the school's standardized tests were erased and changed.  That investigation also found only three employees at the school had access to the exams, including the two now on leave.

The two will remain on leave until the district's investigation wraps up, according to Poland.  He said the city is planning to hire an outside investigator to determine what happened and who's responsible.

It's the second CMT cheating scandal in Connecticut in recent years.

The state is now in the process of transitioning to computerized testing, in part to make sure such a problem does not happen again. 

Some districts, including Hartford, will try the online testing system this spring, according to the state Department of Education. All districts will be required to use the computerized testing the following year, according to the state.

Contact Us