Posts Tagged ‘fired’

Teacher Fired for asking Questions

September 21st, 2009


Fabricated teaching’ degrees and students’ standardized testing scores, oh my!

Living Wood Christian Academy, an Illinoins elementary school, instructed a credentialed teacher to teach her students the “actual SAT (Stanford Achievement Test)” test before they took it, and then fired her after she refused.

Tammy Lovell says she was fired for all the wrong reasons after she spoke about her concerns with the school’s principal having hired teachers lacking bachelor’s degrees. She also stated that the school officials helped them “make up” pseudo degrees and adjusted test scores of students with below average results.

Lovell has more than twenty years of teaching experience and teacher certification for private schools. She says she learned during a meeting that 80 percent of teachers at the private elementary school held bachelor’s degrees. She also states the Association of Christian Schools International, requires that all its teachers hold a bachelor’s degree. Lovell adds she was also made aware that principal Theresa Byrd-Smith told unqualified teachers to “‘make up’ their degrees and to display them in the classroom, and that Principal Smith has aided some staff members in creating the false degrees.” She says she reasonably believed that that violates state law.

Lovell reports that her students had unusually high scores on the Stanford Achievement Test, which was “impossible because her class had, in fact, consistently struggled with the basic concepts of math.”
Lovell says one student, who received a reading score that was “three years in advance for her grade,” scored three years behind her class level when Lovell tested her a second time.

Lovell was convinced that the scores had been “altered,” though Smith denied all allegations.
“In February of 2009, Principal Smith instructed me to teach my class that actual SAT that the students would take later in the school year,” Lovell says. She says she refused to do that, and on Feb. 20, was fired without cause.
SAT tests are rewritten every year and are closely held, but schools can receive them ahead of the test date.

Lovell says that since she was fired near the end of the school year, she was unable to get another job teaching, lost $10,000 in lost wages, and suffered emotional stress. She now seeks at least $50,000 in damages for wrongful firing, retaliation, among other charges.