Vote Monday for Glen Cove school board vacancy

Two people are running in a special election Two people are running in a special election to fill a vacancy on the Glen Cove school board as the district continues to address a test-fixing scandal at the elementary and high school levels. Photo Credit: AP

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Two people are running in a special election to fill a vacancy on the Glen Cove school board as the district continues to address a test-fixing scandal at the elementary and high school levels.

Daniel Cox and Maureen Pappachristou are vying to finish out former board member Joel Sunshine's term, which will end June 30. Sunshine moved out of the district during the summer.

Neither candidate returned calls this week or could be located for comment.

Voters can cast ballots Monday at Finley Middle School from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. With the newly elected trustee, the board will have seven members.

Glen Cove serves about 3,100 children across six campuses, including four elementary schools. Nearly half of its students are Hispanic, and 35 percent are eligible for free lunch, according to a state database.

An independent investigation earlier this year commissioned by the board found that 22 teachers at the Connolly and Landing schools supplied fifth-graders with correct answers, darkened answer forms for them, or urged them to reconsider their responses on state English Language Arts and mathematics exams in spring 2012. The two schools serve grades three through five.

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According to the report, 84.7 percent of the 60 children who were interviewed "indicated they received inappropriate staff-directed assistance" on either the English Language Arts or the math test, or both.

All of the accused teachers "denied, outright, having either provided or witnessed inappropriate staff-directed assistance to students or otherwise failing to comply with the governing rules and procedures" for the tests' administration, the report said.

School officials said in a public statement in September that "the parties are currently involved in closed disciplinary hearings and/or settlement discussions to resolve individual cases."

The State Department of Education and the Nassau County district attorney's office also are investigating the allegations.

The district faces separate accusations of test-changing on 2012 Regents exams at Glen Cove High School.

School districts whose employees are caught cheating on standardized tests can have test scores invalidated, according to the Education Department.

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