For Immediate Release
May 7, 2004
State Teacher Certification Board Suspends North Greene
(Springfield) - The State of Illinois Teacher Certification
Board Friday voted to suspend a North Greene teacher's
certificates following a finding that the teacher had
compromised the integrity of a state assessment last year.
The State Teacher Certification Board accepted the findings
of fact by the hearing officer involved in the proceedings
against Cary Knox, the test supervisor for the Prairie
State Achievement Exam at North Greene High School
The findings revealed:
- Knox had copied an exam booklet and distributed the
exam to faculty members just prior to the administration
of the PSAE in April 2003.
- Knox was also found to have lied about his involvement
in the October 2002 PSAE administration.
- Knox, was test supervisor for the administration of
both the April 2003 and October 2002 test dates, but
did not read the Supervisor's manual of instructions.
- Knox's actions "constituted an intentional, willful
and reckless disregard of his duty to protect the security
of the standardized testing program."
- Knox's actions in following the directive of Principal
Mark Keller at North Greene High School do not absolve
him of responsibility in implementing improper procedure
in administering the standardized testing program.
The actions, in violation of Illinois state code, prompted
Illinois State Superintendent Robert Schiller to seek
revocation of Knox's teaching certificates.
While the Teacher Certification Board accepted the findings
of fact, the 16 members who were present rejected the
hearing officer's recommendation for revocation. And,
instead, the Certification Board decided to suspend Knox's
Secondary Teaching Certificate for five years (July 1,
2004 - June 30, 2009) and suspended his Elementary Teaching
Certificate for six months (Feb.1, 2004 - June 30, 2004).
"I am grateful that the board agreed that Mr. Knox
was involved in compromising a state assessment,"
Schiller said. "I commend all the people who helped
solidify these findings and results. I remain concerned
that the board's action today does not set forth the right
example for all students and teachers who respect the
integrity of the state assessment process. I would have
liked to have seen stronger consequences for someone who
compromised that process."
The final written decision is scheduled to be adopted
by the Certification Board at the June meeting, after
which either the State Superintendent or Knox will have
35 days to seek an administrative review of the decision.
Under an agreement reached last year, Keller surrendered
his administrative certificate and agreed to a one-and-a-half
year suspension of his teaching certificate until June 30,