Teachers Coached 50 Students on NY Tests: Report

About 50 fifth graders on Long Island reportedly confirmed that teachers gave them answers on math and English exams

The new school year hasn't erased questions about whether teachers at two Long Island elementary schools coached students on state exams in 2012.

About 50 fifth-graders in Glen Cove reportedly confirmed that teachers gave them answers on math and English exams in 2012, according to Newsday. In some of the cases, the newspaper reported, teachers even filled in answers for students.

The Nassau County District Attorney's Office is also investigating cheating allegations from the 2012-13 school year. As many as 22 teachers could face disciplinary action.

"It's sending them a bad message that it's all right to cheat, and it's not all right to cheat," Landing Elementary School parent Lisa Fuchs told NBC 4 New York.

The allegations came to light in April, when officials and prosecutors started to look into test scores at Margaret A. Connolly and Landing elementary schools. At the time, Glen Cove School District Superintendent Joseph Laria said the district was greatly disappointed by the allegations of "testing administration irregularities."

In a statement released Monday, the school district didn't deny reports of teacher coaching, but said that the information reported in Newsday was part of a confidential report. The district also called the information "old news," as the investigation stemmed from tests in the 2011-12 school year.

"We have faith in our teachers and believe they have the best interests of Glen Cove students and learning at heart," the district said. "However, we remain firm in standing up for the integrity of our school district by continuing to address this challenge objectively and factually to achieve appropriate and responsible resolution."

Some parents say they think the school's teachers are doing the right thing.

"I support our teachers," Jessica Starks said. "I think they're wonderful teachers."

Starks said some of the blame in the scandal on the standardized testing system.

"The tests put a tremendous amount of pressure on teachers and students," she said. "I think it's just a recipe for disaster."

-- Greg Cergol contributed to this report. 

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