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Appellate Court Says Principal Fired In School Cheating Scandal Should Get Job Back

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An appellate court says a principal fired in the Philadelphia school cheating scandal should get her job back.

A Commonwealth Court panel has ruled that Michelle Burns should be rehired. The District fired Burns, who was the principal at Tilden Middle School in 2009 and 2010, after determining she failed to discover and prevent PSSA tests from being altered.

3 Philadelphia Principals Fired In Test Cheating Scandal

An arbitrator ordered her reinstatement two years ago, but the District won on appeal to Common Pleas Court.

The principals’ union, the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators then appealed to Commonwealth Court. A three-judge panel Thursday ruled that although the cheating was “abhorrent,” firing Burns was too severe because there was no evidence she actively participated.

No word on whether the District plans to appeal to the state Supreme Court.

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