News

Prayer boosted pupils’ grades, lying school principal claimed

Prayer boosted pupils’ grades, lying school principal claimed

Mississippi school principal Lowanda Tyler-Jones, above, had an explanation for the dramatic improvement in the grades of pupils in the Clarksdale Municipal School District: prayer and holy water.

When an investigation was launched into possible cheating, Walt Drane, Mississippi Department of Education’s Executive Director of Student Assessment and Accountability said:

She indicated to me during an interview that she anointed the desks, the pencils, the doorways and also the students’ heads with holy water.

But, according to this report, the truth was that Tyler-Jones had instructed teachers to coach students and change their responses during testing.

As a result, the state Department of Education Commission voted unanimously last week to ban Tyler-Jones from teaching in Mississippi or hold a school administrative licence for at least 20 years. 

The commission rejected Tyler-Jones’ claim of divine intervention, finding instead that Tyler-Jones had been responsible for the dramatic increase in test scores at Heidelberg Elementary School.

Education officials said the punishment is a record suspension.

Said attorney Tommie Cardin:

This sends a strong message that cheating will not be tolerated in any form or fashion and that the interests of our children should be first and foremost in every educator’s mind.

The Clarion-Ledger first uncovered claims of cheating at Heidelberg after the school’s dramatic rise in test scores brought the former F-rated school to an A in two years. Data showed students with the highest test scores could barely read or do basic math when they advanced to Oakhurst Intermediate School months after taking the test in the spring.

Testimony by three witnesses painted Tyler-Jones as obsessed with succeeding regardless of the consequences.

Tyler-Jones’ case concludes the last of three civil charges MDE had brought against individuals involved in the cheating scandal. Special Assistant Attorney General Raina Anderson Lee, counsel for MDE, would not say whether Thursday’s hearing marked the end of the department’s investigation into the incident.

Tyler-Jones will have 10 days to appeal to the state Board of Education.

Lisa M Ross, Tyler-Jones’ attorney, said Tyler-Jones does plan to appeal and indicated that going to civil court was possible. Ross said that in the past she objected to the fairness of the proceedings because commissioners while presiding over the hearings had lunch with MDE attorneys and MDE experts, which she argued created a bias.

She wants to go to a court with real judges who will apply the law without respect of persons. Judges who care about fairness with their attorneys and their experts.

Ross further alleged that Tyler-Jones was racially discriminated against, arguing that the punishments were only given to African-Americans, despite Caucasian teachers testifying in previous hearings that they had also cheated on the test.

Ross said her client maintains her innocence.

She has maintained from day one that she never encouraged anyone to cheat. And that no one ever told her anyone engaged in cheating. Today does not end this matter.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

7 responses to “Prayer boosted pupils’ grades, lying school principal claimed”

  1. Lucy says:

    I have no idea if she did plan and instruct the other staff to cheat. She should have been struck off for the holy water and prayer stuff. Head teachers should not try to practise magic on school premises.

  2. I thought it was hilarious that some people actually believe that prayer and holy water will make things better. I have one word to say to that.”BULLCRAP!”

  3. Matt says:

    And another good christian bearing false witness … but its ok because she will pray for forgiveness.

    She must be a bit dense too to think that she could cheat her way to school improvement without people, you know people who check data, noticing.

  4. Matt says:

    Nice too she that she played the race card as well. Nasty dishonest bitch.

  5. barriejohn says:

    …despite Caucasian teachers testifying in previous hearings that they had also cheated on the test.

    So she does admit to cheaingt then? To say that she let her charges down is an understatement; she should have been banned for life. And as others have said, how thick do you have to be not to realize that the real ability of your students is not going to be apparent to others?

  6. John says:

    Did she forget to allege religious discrimination?
    Where are religious lawyers when you need one?

  7. Robster says:

    The whole religious charade is built around subterfuge, this dodgy teacher’s behaviour is not really that out of character.