GREEN BAY, WI - New documents shedding more light on the investigation of testing problems at Eisenhower Elementary School in Green Bay. After a former principal allowed students to practice with real test questions from state standardized tests. Some of the student’s math scores were eventually thrown out.
NBC26 and other media outlets requested an open records request of documents and emails throughout the investigation. There were hundreds of documents from Eisenhower staff, the district and the Department of Public Instruction.
There was also a letter of apology from former principal, Claudia Orr to Superintendant Michelle Langenfeld discussing the testing policy Orr was in charge of.
After a meeting in December of 2011, Orr addressed the investigation.
“I understand that this is a very serious matter and that this is going to have a big impact on our students, staff, school, the district and myself. I am deeply sorry for my mistake,” said Orr.
Her mistake refers to letting teachers view WKCE tests which is a breach of test security.
In her letter, Orr said she regrets not being more cautious when asking a supervisor if staff could view previous testing materials.
Also in an October 2011 letter, Orr stated, “I was caught by surprise and I was left feeling like I did something wrong when I was told by the DOC that we could preview the book. I do not have anything to hide. I am confident about my test scores and teacher using best practices.”
After further investigation that took several months, the district sent a letter to teachers involved saying "These actions are unprofessional and unacceptable and must not be repeated."
But some of the teachers who received the letter of reprimand sent back a rebuttal. Stating they did not use live questions to practice, but were told to make similar questions.
One teacher, whose name has been redacted from documents said, “I was directed by my immediate supervisor, Claudia Orr, to analyze the fifth grade WKCE test data.” The teacher later went on to add, “At no time did I think I was going anything wrong…I find it confusing that I am being told that I should not have followed those direcitons…I did exactly as my boss instructed me to do.”
The teacher said they feared being written up if not following supervisor's directions.
NBC26 contacted the school district for comment from Claudia Orr, or the superintendent about these documents; no one was available to comment.
Orr is currently the Director of Professional Learning with the school district.