Jackson Super Responds To MEAP Fiasco

By: Tony Tagliavia Email
By: Tony Tagliavia Email

"We want to sincerely apologize," Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Dan Evans said Friday. "That's the bottom line."

Evans says if he could, he'd apologize personally to every superintendent around the state.

It comes after a newspaper reporter was granted access to a district school to write about the MEAP. The story that resulted is forcing thousands of students around the state to re-take part of the test.

"When you affect as many lives as we have," Evans said. "it's been a long week."

The article in question was published in Tuesday afternoon's Jackson Citizen-Patriot. It includes some of the questions asked of fifth- and sixth-graders on the MEAP writing test.

"It makes it very difficult," Lansing School District Chief Academic Officer Julie LaMond told News 10. "Some students will have taken the test this week and some others have not taken the test."

Since the questions are out there, those students who haven't taken it might know what's on it. So all 2,100 fifth- and sixth-graders in the Lansing School District will have to take a new test.

There is some dispute about exactly how the information ended up in the paper.

The editor of the Citizen-Patriot tells us she stands by her reporter's contention that the teacher brought up the topics in front of the reporter, which could break MEAP rules.

"We're internally found no wrongdoing on the part of our staff," Evans said. The district maintains that the reporter only found out about the test questions through the students. The superintendent says he is still looking into whether the photo that accompanied the story violated MEAP rules by showing part of the test.

The state Department of Education is conducting its own investigation.

That could lead to sanctions against the district, including asking Jackson to pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars the new test will cost.

The superintendent says that's something he would contest.

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