School under investigation over FCAT scores

St. Petersburg, Florida -- Pinellas County School officials are investigating Bay Point Elementary School over inconsistencies in the school's FCAT scores.

The Florida Department of Education notified Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Michael Grego in a letter on June 24 that the school district needs to conduct an internal investigation regarding the high incidence of similarities in answer documents for the fourth grade math scores.

In the letter, the inspector general said the similarities were so improbable that the odds of them occurring in "ideal testing conditions" are less than 1 in 1 quadrillion. Basically, a bunch of tests had the exact same answers.

Until the investigation is complete, the state assigned Bay Point Elementary an incomplete school grade.

Pinellas County Schools notified parents they are investigating, but that "there is no evidence of mismanagement on the part of our students, teachers, or administrators."

The school district released the following statement in the investigation:

"The district was informed that the Florida Department of Education was delaying the release of a school grade for Bay Point Elementary based on statistical evidence that a number of fourth-grade FCAT mathematics test scores were too similar to each other. The DOE asked the district to perform analysis of the test results and to investigate the test administration procedures at the school so that the grade can be released. The district is in the midst of that analysis, which at this point has produced no evidence of improper test administration or document handling. The analysis should be completed within the next month, at which point the district expects the DOE will release the school's grade."


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