Local News

Fayetteville School's Mishap Means More Tests For Students

Posted May 31, 2006 8:54 a.m. EDT

— About 230 students at a Fayetteville elementary school must retake their end-of-grade tests after an educator mishandled the completed tests.

Cumberland County school officials would not go into detail about the mishap at Lucile Souders Elementary School, but they did suspend the school's principal, Terese Jones, without pay. Officials would not say whether she was the person who misplaced or moved the exams.

The state of North Carolina requires end-of-grade testing to determine how students are progressing. There is a lot at stake and tampering can have big consequences.

"Everybody was surprised, and some are still curious as to why, what happened to cause it all," said Walter Haire, the grandfather of a fifth-grade student.

Officials said they have no choice other than to have third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students retake the exams on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

"We have to protect the integrity of the materials and the process, and I don't know of any other way that we could have handled it," said Cumberland County Schools spokeswoman Wanda McPhaul.