EDUCATION
10/10/2011 12:28 pm ET Updated Dec 10, 2011

Cheating Teachers In Connecticut Must Tutor, Lose Some Pay As Punishment

Twelve teachers who were involved in a Connecticut test tampering scandal are losing 20 days pay and must serve 25 hours of community service by tutoring students after school, the Republican American reports.

"We welcome the teachers back and we want to encourage them to be the professionals that they are and to assist the youngsters in every way possible to succeed," Waterbury Public Schools Superintendent David L. Snead said Friday, according to the Republican American. "The punishment is the punishment and it's over. And we are going to treat it like that. It's over."

Nine of those teachers return to classrooms Tuesday, and Snead is asking that the teachers be allowed to keep their licenses.

The consequences stem from an investigation launched in August by Connecticut's Department of Education that placed 17 Hopeville Elementary School employees on paid leave to examine allegations of test tampering on this year's Connecticut Mastery Tests, WNPR reported. The investigation uncovered irregularities in test scores and answer sheets -- resulting in large performance gains and yielded some of the state's top scores.

Around 160 students had to re-take the exam in September.

Last month, officials concluded that Hopeville Principal Maria Moulthrop and reading teacher Margaret Perugini had led cheating efforts at the school, the Associated Press reported. The superintendent sought to dismiss both educators, but Perugini announced her retirement last week rather than face termination proceedings, and Moulthrop is appealing possible dismissal.

The consequences for accused teachers announced this week are divergent from Connecticut acting Commissioner of Education George Coleman's August call for firing all employees involved in cheating on standardized tests, as well as mandating that they pay for the costs of the investigation, hiring substitutes and re-testing, the Connecticut Post reported.

The cheating revelations in Connecticut were just part of a wave of teacher cheating scandals that spanned school districts from Washington, D.C. to Pennsylvania and sparked national debate.