Burbank Teacher Suspended After Breaking State Standardized Testing Rules

At least one elementary school class has had their test scores invalidated, and the district's ranking could be in jeopardy.

A Burbank elementary school teacher has been placed on administrative leave after improperly helping students answer questions on a statewide standardized test, school district officials said Monday.

The testing violation has state education officials trying to decide whether to invalidate all of the Standardized Testing and Reporting Scores at McKinley Elementary School.

A student reported the teacher's behavior to the school principal on April 16, prompting an investigation, according to a statement from the Burbank Unified School District.

District spokeswoman Kimberley Clark told NBC4 that students were not cheating, but a teacher violated rules by helping students with the exam.

"The first consequence is that the scores for the students in the classroom will be invalidated," the district's statement read.

The STAR tests are used to calculate school districts' overall Academic Performance Index (API) scores, which measure a school's academic success.

The API scores, which range from a minimum 200 to a maximum 1,000, factor into school rankings and are used to determine whether schools are improving under the No Child Left Behind Act.

Over the next six weeks, the California Department of Education will decide whether to withhold McKinley's scores altogether, which could affect the entire district.

The Burbank Unified School District has boasted a high API score in previous years. Burbank's overall 2012 API score is 846, compared to the neighboring Los Angeles Unified School District's 744. McKinley's school score was 835.

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