MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A former Mobile County Public School principal is contesting her termination after school officials testified in court that she instructed her teachers to “do whatever necessary to get test scores up.”
At least 48 witnesses were subpoenaed for the civil case.
School system officials testified that former Holloway Elementary School principal Iesha Williams was placed on administrative leave in July 2013.
Executive Manager of Human Resources for MCPSS Bryan Hack said an investigation into cheating at her school began in April 2012.
Hack testified that fifth grade test scores in reading, math, and science remained consistently high at Holloway Elementary for several quarters until officials became aware of the alleged cheating scandal and began investigating.
“I believe there was cheating going on, and I believe Williams was encouraging cheating,” Hack testified before Judge Charles Graddick.
Numerous teachers and witnesses testified that they were instructed to give verbal and non-verbal cues to their students during testing.
Hack said some teachers would also allow students more time to answer questions and were told to simply improve their test scores.
Williams nor the Mobile County Public School System would comment on the civil case.
It also remains unclear how widespread the allegations of cheating were at Holloway Elementary and if any teachers willingly participated.
Back in August 2012, Mobile County Superintendent Martha Peek spoke to FOX10 News about controversy surrounding possible cheating at Mobile County schools.
State documents revealed there have been four major cheating investigations at county schools since 2002.
Peek said there were only four incidents, which she said was, “phenomenal, because we have given thousands and thousands of tests.”
Peek went on to say, “We have been completely transparent and believe in what our schools have done. Right now, we are trying to finish this school year, and we will get our test results back in July.”
Williams’ evidentiary hearing is expected to resume at 9 a.m. on Friday October, 11.
FOX10 News is working to get more information about the alleged scandal.
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