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Hearing Officer Rules Principal Encouraged Cheating on Achievement Tests

December 28, 1991

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) _ A suspended elementary school principal encouraged her teachers to cheat on their students’ achievement tests, a hearing officer for this affluent Chicago suburb’s school district has found.

Hearing officer James Bakk ruled Friday, after a week of hearings, that the most serious allegations against Cherokee school principal Linda Chase were substantiated.

Pupils at Cherokee consistently scored high on the Stanford Achievement Test and the Illinois Goal Assessment Program. Last spring, 30 percent of Cherokee students scored in the top 1 percent in the nation on the Stanford test.

Nine of the 11 teachers at the school testified that Chase gave them copies of the tests before students took them and even altered students’ answers.

The school board will meet Monday to consider what action, if any, to take against Chase, said board member Ada Nielsen. Chase could be demoted to teacher from her $69,000 principal’s job.

Chase has denied doing anything wrong. A man who answered the telephone at her home Friday night said her attorney had advised her not to comment.

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