Teacher Accused Of Giving Students Hints During CSAP Testing

By: CBS News
By: CBS News

A teacher in Fort Collins is accused of giving hints to her students during Colorado Student Assessment Program tests.

Julie Pfeifer teaches math at Webber Middle School. She is accused of coaching her students before the test was administered.

The superintendent of the Poudre School District sent a letter to the school board recommending that Pfeifer be fired for violating CSAP rules while administering the test in March.

The district has since thrown out the math test results for 23 middle school students, stating the teacher used test session time before the test to review material that would be on the test. They also claim Pfeifer advised students to use the centimeter side of their ruler during the test. It is also alleged that she hinted to at least three students that they should reconsider their answers on the test.

Pfeifer has been teaching in the district for more than 22 years and was awarded teacher of the year 2004.

“I think there’s a bigger issue. I feel like I’m being used as an example,” said Pfeifer. “That if you possibly make a mistake or a perceived mistake on the CSAP you could be fired. They seem to be abusing power. I don’t think I made a mistake.”

The school administration declined to make a statement on camera, but did say the superintendent’s recommendation is the first step in a hearing process that will determine whether Pfeifer will lose her job.

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  • by Anonymous on Jun 17, 2011 at 11:46 AM
    I know this person personally and although she may be a good teacher with the best intentions, at times she has questionable decision-making.
  • by Anonymous Location: colorado on Jun 16, 2011 at 06:47 PM
    Teachers aren't the problem! Let us fire all the bad parents who stopped instilling the values of education in their children's lives. Let us fire the parents that never take an interest in their child's study habits or abilities to give the student reasons and motivation to learn. Let us develop a "CSAP" for parents and find where the true failure lies in our culture. We are a country where family values are dieing a slow death!
  • by Ray Location: S. Colorado on Jun 16, 2011 at 07:47 AM
    Why would a 22 year veteran of teaching, tenured, feel the pressure to coax a CSAP score a little higher? There is a fishy smell to this. How was the infraction discovered? Why is the superintendent not named? BTW, the CSAP math tests are freakishly difficult. I would say that most adults would be embarrased by it.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 16, 2011 at 07:23 AM
    more control freaks in charge and exerting their massive powers in Fort Collins, I see.
  • by Purple Rain on Jun 16, 2011 at 06:43 AM
    She's fine!
  • by cs Location: cs on Jun 16, 2011 at 06:40 AM
    It is easy to see that if she helped her kids cheat that she is no more than a hack teacher who is not qualified to do her job. These tests are stupid in general and a waste of our kids time and one of the main reasons are children are falling behind compared to other nations. Also education took a dive in this country when the teachers became organized trash. Do away with the unions and hold teachers accountable for what they do. This women needs to be fired and her teaching credentials revoked.
  • by Fadacman Location: COS on Jun 16, 2011 at 05:50 AM
    I moved here from Texas 2 years and we have had a similar test for more than 20 years. The testing is Texas is so horrible that a Senior in High School with a 4.0 GPA would not graduate if they fail the test. So the teachers spend half the year teaching the test. This test is first taken by students in the 3rd grade with "No Pass No Grad" When the test was introduced in Texas the Professor that wrote it could not and still can not pass it.
  • by Sanford Location: NJ on Jun 16, 2011 at 05:33 AM
    Let us not forget what teaching is all about. It is not to tell students how to do things, but to understand and to think properly. Students (and many teachers) do not know how to think. See Teaching and Helping Students Think and Do Better. A more general problem is rational thinking, which is lacking in national politics. See the new book, Rational Thinking, Government Policies, Science, and Living. Rational thinking starts with clearly stated principles, continues with logical deductions, and then examines empirical evidence to possibly modify the principles. Let us remain focused on the goals of education - helping students to think rationally for themselves starting from principles.
  • by Mary on Jun 15, 2011 at 09:29 PM
    Don't know the circumstances of this case but accusing teachers of "teaching" CSAP has been used more then once as an excuse to fire good teachers. Do we want a nation of test takers or a nation of thinkers?
  • by NoCSAP on Jun 15, 2011 at 08:55 PM
    CSAP should be taken away, it's worthless, it's a time waste, it has NOT helped our schools in any way. I toyed with the idea of homeschooling until I found out they too are required to take the test.  What are we supposed to do as parents? Move? I would if I could, this state robs you with taxes....

    (and I'm a native, I once loved my state)
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