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District 150 Suggests Possible Cheating Behind Charter Oak Test Scores

District 150 is releasing its findings in a 29 page report.
PEORIA – Peoria School District 150 has released its report which explains its investigation into Charter Oak Primary School’s testing irregularities.


The report shows special education students tested significantly better while at Charter Oak than they did the next year at Mark Bills Middle School.


A District 150 report is finding that test scores at Charter Oak don’t add up. The district said it completed its investigation, finding students tested better at the primary school, than they did when they moved on to middle school. Attorney for District 150, Stan Eisenhammer said, “There was a clear conclusion that because the teachers admitted it, which they were violating protocols for whatever reason. Whether it was intentional or whether it was for lack of training.”


That’s why Principal John Wetterauer is at the center of this investigation. The district claimed he didn’t train his staff properly and he didn’t oversee the testing as he should have. Wetterauer’s attorney said the district should be held responsible. “Of course the central office was aware of the test scores at the time when the principal was and now their suggestion is being made that the central office has no responsibility for investigating those problems when they first appeared three years ago and that my client is responsible for them at this point in time"


Teachers and students were interviewed for the report. Teachers said they did things like read test questions and answers and let students use classroom resources, like posters on the wall.


Willamson argued that may not be necessarily wrong. “There are numerous help references in the school code and in the direct by the central office and district 150 for special education students and that's possibly what happened in this case but that's not how the district is characterizing it.”


The report will now go to the State Board of Education. They’ll decide if any disciplinary action will be taken against Charter Oak or District 150. Eisenhammer said, “It goes beyond that, it goes to the integrity of the district. I mean if we're going to put out and be proud of our schools based on our testing that that testing needs to be done properly.”


Another meeting will be scheduled where Wetterauer has the opportunity to respond to the district’s findings.

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