In wake of cheating claims, SRC appoints ‘testing integrity adviser’

    Standardized-test cheaters, beware. There’s a new sheriff in town.

    The Philadelphia School Reform Commission has appointed former Temple University president David Adamany to a new oversight position called the “testing integrity adviser.”

    Adamany, who will review the district’s testing security practices, will report to the SRC at least monthly.

    He said he hopes to put the recent allegations of cheating in the district into a greater context.

    “Whatever cheating may be going on is only a piece of the puzzle,” Adamany said. “The really big issue is whether kids are getting educated, whether we can measure whether they’re being educated, and whether children are being prepared for the next steps in their lives.”

    The state is currently investigating 52 Philadelphia public schools over alleged malfeasance regarding the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment testing. Most recently, teachers at Cayuga High School in Hunting Park have alleged that they were directed by their principal to commit gross PSSA wrongdoings — including filling in unanswered test questions and translating English questions for non-native speakers.

    As a university president for 21 years (six at Temple, and another 15 at Wayne State University in Michigan) and the interim CEO of the Detroit public school system during its 1999 state takeover, Adamany says his experience will help him investigate and combat these infractions.

    His work with the SRC will be on an advisory basis, and will not be compensated.

    In addition to the appointment, the school district plans to coordinate with the state’s Department of Education, as well as the inspector general’s office, to examine the alleged testing improprieties.

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