- Associated Press - Monday, May 23, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Latest on a hearing alleging cheating on standardized tests by a Clarksdale school principal. (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

The head of Mississippi’s educator misconduct office says a Clarksdale elementary school principal participated in and covered up cheating on standardized tests at her school.

Michael Martin, interim director of the office of educator misconduct, testified Monday against Heidelberg Elementary School Principal Lowanda Tyler-Jones.

The state Department of Education alleges that teachers and Tyler-Jones rigged results on state standardized tests in 2013.

Lisa Ross, Tyler-Jones’ lawyer, is questioning the credibility of test security firm Caveon and the state employees involved in the investigation.

It wasn’t until The Clarion-Ledger reported in May 2014 that results were falsified that the state began its own investigation.

Two teachers were charged earlier. Frances Smith-Kemp gave up her teaching license for two years, while the licensure commission suspended Tetra Winters’ license for five years.

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3:30 a.m.

A hearing to suspend or revoke a Clarksdale elementary school principal’s teaching license is scheduled to begin Monday.

The state teacher licensure commission will examine whether Heidelberg Elementary School Principal Lowanda Tyler-Jones helped orchestrate cheating on state standardized tests in 2013.

Previously an elementary school teacher, Tyler-Jones was named Heidelberg’s principal in 2012. Test scores rose sharply, and those increases were flagged by the state as statistically unlikely. A local inquiry reported nothing wrong, though.

It wasn’t until The Clarion-Ledger reported in May 2014 that test results were falsified that the state began its own investigation.

Two teachers were charged earlier. Frances Smith-Kemp gave up her teaching license for two years, while the licensure commission suspended Tetra Winters’ license for five years.

Clarksdale Superintendent Dennis Dupree hasn’t been charged.

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