JCPS employees could lose licenses over ACT cheating scandal - News, Weather & Sports

JCPS employees could lose licenses over ACT cheating scandal

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A Jefferson County Public School principal, counselor and teacher could lose their licenses following an investigation into allegations of cheating on a standardized test.

Male High School Principal David Mike, Counselor Rhonda Branch and teacher Debbie Greenberg are the focus of a Kentucky Department of Education investigation. 

A state report alleges several violations occurred when Mike failed to ensure the security of ACT Compass exams in the fall of 2013.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Male High School principal accused of over-staffing, violating JCTA guidelines]

The report says students received assistance from teachers while taking the test.

The KDE also found that David Mike and other administrators pressured students and teachers into covering up the violations. One administrator threatened to reassign teachers who didn't comply, according to the KDE investigation.

Cheating on the tests increased the number of students who received scores certifying them as "college ready," in turn improving the school's standing for state accountability purposes.

The report will now go to the Education Professional Standards Board, which has the power to revoke or suspend teaching licenses under Kentucky law.

[PREVIOUS STORY: JCPS investigating Male High principal]

Mike was reassigned to administrative duties in June, Greenberg retired and Branch remains employed.

A Male High School parent whose on the Site Based Decision Making Board didn't mince words about this latest development.

"If I were JCPS, I would have a hard time keeping Mike in employment. Where could you possibly place him where he couldn't be of harm to people or create such a ruckus about his presence that he could effectively function," SBDM Board member Ben Wyman said.

JCPS Communications Specialist Ben Jackey provided the following statement in response to a WAVE 3 News interview:

"JCPS is closely examining the Kentucky Department of Education's findings as part of our own investigation. JCPS takes the recommendations in this report very seriously and will ensure the employees mentioned follow these directives so that student learning and achievement remain the focus of their efforts."

JCPS will be conducting two separate investigations, one based on the state report and another into unprofessional behavior, according to Jackey.

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