Allegations of test fixing leads to invalidated scores for some 3rd graders

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A handful of Valley third graders had their AzMerit Math Assessment results invalidated after the Arizona Department of Education found "test impropriety," according to a letter sent home to parents. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A handful of Valley third graders had their AzMerit Math Assessment results invalidated after the Arizona Department of Education found "test impropriety," according to a letter sent home to parents. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Abriana Sanchez said her teacher changed one of her answers after she turned in the test. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Abriana Sanchez said her teacher changed one of her answers after she turned in the test. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The school at the center of this, Edupreneurship Student Center, or "ESC" as it's known, is a charter school in north Phoenix. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The school at the center of this, Edupreneurship Student Center, or "ESC" as it's known, is a charter school in north Phoenix. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
We're told Abriana was not held back as a result of the allegations. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) We're told Abriana was not held back as a result of the allegations. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A handful of Valley third-graders had their AzMerit Math Assessment results invalidated after the Arizona Department of Education found "test impropriety," according to a letter sent home to parents.

The school at the center of this, Edupreneurship Student Center, or "ESC" as it's known, is a charter school in north Phoenix.

Abriana Sanchez was one of the students impacted. 

This is what she says happened after she turned in her assessment book to her teacher this past spring.

"She looked through it and said this isn't right and erased the bubbling and bubbled the right one and said I never taught you this yet," Abriana said.

The allegations came up when Abriana's mom was asking her brother about how his testing went.

"I called the Department of Education and they investigated and that made the principal, then have to do an investigation," Apryl Gastelum, Abriana's mother said.

The head of ESC sent a letter to the parents of the students affected by the allegations that the teacher erased answers and changed them, which says in part, "the state felt that there was enough evidence to invalidate the assessment."

We reached out to the head of the school but did not hear back Tuesday. A spokesperson with the Arizona Department of Education says they cannot comment or even confirm any potential or ongoing investigations.

"It's upsetting to see that my daughter's third-grade year was really sabotaged, I don't know, is she ready for fourth grade?" asked Gastelum.

We're told Abriana was not held back as a result of this.

The school did say in the letter that, "This does not mean that your child failed this assessment because we know their ability and have other means of assessment we use here as ESC."

Still, Gastelum said she'd had enough and pulled both her kids out of ESC, enrolling them in a new charter school, much to their delight.

"I'm in a way better school," Abriana said.

Her mom is also keeping close tabs on what's going on in the new classrooms, saying she's doing what she can to keep this from happening again.

Even though the head of the school did not get back to us, she said in the letter they sent home to parents that disciplinary actions are being taken and that it will be brought to the board adding, "this is a serious violation and we are following policy and procedure on this matter." 

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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