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Commission votes to suspend license of teacher accused of helping students during test in 2013


CLARKSDALE, Mississippi — A state department of education commission has voted to suspend the license of a teacher for five years.

The Clarion-Ledger (http://on.thec-l.com/1MUJhaC ) reports Tetra Winters is accused of coaching students during the Mississippi Curriculum Test in 2013.

She is the second Clarksdale teacher accused of helping students cheat as part of a larger investigation into widespread cheating in the district by the state education department.

The three-member commission's ruling Wednesday was unanimous.

Winters acted as a test administrator for the MCT-2 for 26 students. Of 22 students who scored proficient or advanced during the language arts portion, three remained at the same level the following year at Oakhurst Intermediate School. Of the 13 students who scored advanced on the math portion, one scored advanced the next year.

The state's Office of Educator Misconduct in its case also highlighted the extremely high number of wrong-to-right erasures on the students' test. While there were 338 under Winters' watch, there were 14 wrong-to-right answer changes when the same students took the test the following year.

Another teacher who was in the classroom with Winters during the administration of the test said she observed Winters coaching students on their responses. If she noticed the child's answer on a question was incorrect, she would tell them "check your work" until they landed on the right answer.

Somebody chose the most subtle but most direct way involved where they could say, 'Oh, I never said anything to a student except check your work,'" attorney Mark Garriga of Butler Snow said in the state's closing statement.

Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com

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