JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A lengthy investigation report from the Duval County School District outlines allegations of FCAT testing violations discovered at Windy Hill Elementary School, a finding that prompted the School Board to demote former principal Sharon Sanders.
"It's my job and my responsibility to ensure that there are consequences," Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said. "It destroys morale when action isn't taken, and I think this is an example of that."
The document indicates former teacher Christopher Bacca sparked the investigation before police arrested him on unrelated charges of sexual battery against a child.
At one point, it was believed that Bacca had information about the writing prompt and prepped his students before the test, an accusation he denies in a letter in which he calls himself an "amazing teacher."
"Awful history with Mr. Bacca and the district, and unfortunate situation that we'll never truly forget, but this investigation, although it includes Mr. Bacca as the writing teacher, writing coach, is not necessarily directly involved."
Despite the fact that the district found no evidence Bacca (pictured, right) used inside information to help students, multiple other violations are listed, including a failure to maintain proper seating charts, no training for test administrators, and an inability for a school assessment coordinator to monitor testing rooms.
"There were moments during testing where personnel at the school indicated that testing violations may be occurring and that she did not change the testing environment based on that recommendation," Vitti said.
At the meeting in which board members voted to demote Sanders to an assistant principal at another school, nearly a dozen supporters showed up to speak on her behalf, and her attorney, Tad Delegal, argues Sanders did not break the rules.
"There was no cheating, and not everything may have been completely perfect, there may have been errors, there are human factors, but this was not something Ms. Sanders was responsible for," Delegal said. And frankly, I'm disappointed that the School District didn't do a more thorough investigation and they would've revealed that."
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