Local News

Moore School Board Investigates Allegations Of SAT Payments To Students

Posted October 9, 2003

— The

Moore County School

Board wrapped up its investigation of test tainting allegations after a four-and-a-half hour closed-door session Wednesday night.

The spotlight is on a former high school principal who may have paid students for good SAT scores.

At the same time as the closed-door session, a crowd of students, parents and teachers held their own meeting.

Bruce Cunningham, a parent and lawyer, said he did his own investigation into the allegations.

He claims the former principal of North Moore High School, Keith Kremer, authorized a $150 check to be paid to a student for a good SAT score.

The money was OK'd to come from the STARS account, which is designated to help remedial students.

Kremer has since moved on and could not be reached for comment. The district spokesman said test score incentives were offered; however, the money was paid out of the discretionary account, which was then reimbursed by the remedial funds.

"Right here it says from the STARS account, not the discretionary account," Cunningham pointed out.

Cunningham, and the rest of those who turned out for Wednesday's meeting, called it a cover-up that starts at the top, with superintendent Pat Russo.

Thetis Vaughn is a longtime teacher at North Moore High School. She said good students were paid to take the SAT and bad students were paid not to take them.

"Every bit of it's true and there's more you don't know," she said.

Vaughn said it was an effort by the superintendent to improve the district's numbers so he could get his bonus.

"I'm really not happy with the way things are going. I'm embarrassed. I'm absolutely embarrassed to be from this county with the way things are going," Vaughn said.

The board will share its findings with the superintendent Monday morning.

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