and as a result in future PSSA Tests -Test administrators can not oversee a test given to his or her own students or proctor a student or students alone
Today the Hazleton Area School District Responded.
This is the Letter from the Hazleton Area School District-
The Hazleton Area School District ("School District") today released the following statement regarding statements by the Pennsylvania Department of Education ("PDE") made to the media about its ongoing investigation at the School District:
Upon reading news reports of PDE's explanation of what it is doing at the School District, School Board President Brian Earley stated: "I wish I could say that I am surprised that PDE was more responsive to the media than to the School District. But PDE's response to the media still contradicts what little information the School District has."
The School District's attorneys have advised the School District that, based on all the available information, including reports from School District employees, PDE was apparently investigating much more than "atypical" erasures on School District standardized tests, contrary to what PDE stated and what was reported by the Hazleton Standard-Speaker on November 28, 2012. However, the School District was never notified of any other allegations and, in September 2012, objected to PDE seemingly conducting multiple investigations without any of the legally required notices. PDE's investigators responded by stating that no notice was required because no allegations had been made.
"I have difficulty keeping track of PDE's spider-web of explanations about how it is supposedly following the proper processes," remarked frustrated School District Superintendent Francis Antonelli. "The 18-month investigation, which was so obviously about more than just erasures, was closed with no wrongdoing found. Then, all of a sudden, there is a new investigation that PDE suggests could possibly be related to the first investigation. The truth is that we may never know PDE's real agenda because we were never properly notified of all of the things that PDE investigated during the first investigation, and we get no response when asking about the subject of the second investigation. This is absolute nonsense."
The School District intends to fully cooperate with PDE's investigation. At the same time, the School District has directed its attorneys to assess what other legal recourse might be available to it. "At this point, I can only speculate that politics is at play," said Earley. "I cannot think of any other explanation for why PDE has acted this way."
Earley went on to further comment: "The process is that you get notice of the allegations, an investigation is conducted, and a hearing is held if the investigation finds any evidence in support of the allegations. In this instance, in my opinion, PDE seems to have been secretly conducting a sweeping investigation of unknown scope under the guise of looking at "atypical" erasures, without telling anyone what it was really doing. Now, after PDE's public declarations that it has cleared the School District of wrongdoing, we have vague statements of something that may or may not be related to some unknown piece of the first investigation. I do not understand why PDE will not follow the process and give us clear notice. How do you respond when you don't know what you're responding to?"