Due to testing error, Pasadena school to lose Blue Ribbon nomination

Roosevelt Elementary School in Pasadena is expected to have its federal Blue Ribbon nomination rescinded due to an administrative test-taking error that was reported in October, officials said.

Roosevelt Elementary would have been the nearest school to Glendale Unified's Clark Magnet High School to join the prestigious ranks of Blue Ribbon nominated schools had it not been for what one district official called "an honest mistake."

During testing earlier this year, an adult proctor told three Roosevelt students who had turned in incomplete tests to finish filling in answers to questions they had left blank, said Pasadena school district spokesman Adam Wolfson.

Because talking to students about their tests is against the rules, Roosevelt becomes ineligible for Blue Ribbon status and other federal or state awards.

“It’s unfortunate. The students weren’t cheating, and the adult just made an honest mistake,” said Wolfson. “We want to emphasize the kids did a fantastic job.”

The school district reported the violation of testing procedure to in October to the California Department of Education, Wolfson said.

Pasadena Unified Supt. Jon Gundry ordered a review of the school’s protocols and will appoint a new test-taking coordinator at Roosevelt, he said.

State education officials announced Roosevelt as a Blue Ribbon nominee on Tuesday, but are expected to rescind the nomination.

Blue Ribbon honors go to schools that were among the highest performers or most improved on standardized math and English tests.

Roosevelt’s Academic Performance Index (API) score was 888, one of the highest in the school district and up 57 points from the previous year.

While Blue Ribbon status allows for no margin of error, Roosevelt’s API scores will remain valid because of the low number of students involved, Wolfson said.

Students in grades 2 through 11 take state standardized tests each spring toward the end of the academic year. There were 179 students who took the tests at Roosevelt.

-- Joe Piasecki, Times Community News

Twitter: @JoePiasecki

Photo: Pasadena's Roosevelt Elementary School was not nominated for a 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools Program due to an administrator's error during state testing, according to school district officials. Creit: Raul Roa / Times Community News

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