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Parents React To Philadelphia School Cheating Scandal

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syma-web Syma Chowdhry
Syma Chowdhry joined the CBS 3/The CW Philly’s Eyewitness News tea...
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By Syma Chowdhry

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Many parents waiting to pick up their kids from Cayuga Elementary School first learned about the arrests of the principal and four teachers from reporters.

Natalie Rodriguez has a kindergartener, first grader and fifth grader at the school.

“I’m shocked. I don’t know what to say. It’s sad.”

She can’t believe the cheating allegations against the principal and four other teachers, one of whom was a teacher here when she was a student.

“She wasn’t a teacher of mine, but she was one of the elementary school teachers here when I was attended this school.”

Jose Luciano adds, “It’s surprising, especially when little guys, kids and parents are trusting people to do their job.”

States officials conducted an investigation after noticing high scores on standardized tests. (See Previous Story)

Fernando Gallard is with Philadelphia School District and says they conducted their own investigation about the alleged cheating back in 2011.

“Showed a pattern of a ratio of wrong to right, had a much higher level than you would normally see in test scores.”

They took action against 15 educators.

“Range of individuals being dismissed for their jobs, to being suspended, and suspended without pay.”

This all comes after a national teachers union rallied outside of City Hall asking for more funding for Philadelphia schools.

“If we had a fair funding formula kids here could have what kids in other places in this state have.”

Mayor Nutter says he is disappointed but he has heard of this type of alleged cheating in other cities.

“This is not something that’s solely isolated to School District of Philadelphia, but nonetheless I’m concerned about the districts overall reputation, but we should never penalize kids for the bad behavior of adults.”

State officials say the investigation is on-going, which could uncover a more, widespread scandal, but schools officials say this is an isolated incident.

Gallard says,”This is just a small number of individuals involved, we have tremendous caring educators in our schools that work hard to support out students.”

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