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Burbank Elementary School Teacher Accused Of Improperly Helping Students With Standardized Tests

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BURBANK (CBSLA.com) — An elementary school teacher in Burbank stands accused of improperly prepping students for state standardized tests.

When students return to classes at McKinley Elementary, parents will likely ask a lot of questions.

Tom Wait, reporting for KCAL9, says parents received a letter on Friday informing them of the alleged impropriety.

“There could be repercussions and what would the kids think?” said Cynthia Milo, her niece attends the school.

Wait asked one father if he was worried his child would have to retake the test? “Yes of course, that would be one of the worries,” said Fred Babol whose daughter goes to the school.

The controversy began when a student told the principal that something didn’t seem right with how a teacher was prepping students for state assessment exams, also called STAR. Burbank’s district officials — along with state administrators — investigated. The results are in – and they don’t look good.

In a statement released by Burbank’s District Office, a spokesperson says in part:

“…The California Department of Education confirmed that it was likely that a testing irregularity occurred. The first consequence is that the scores for the students in the classroom will be invalidated…”

The teacher is now on administrative leave.

“They have to investigate if there are more —  it could be that there are other teachers doing this. Who knows?” said Milo.

Other parents believe the controversy is being blown way out of proportion.

Keith Distefano’s stepson attends McKinley. He said, “The teachers are great and there’s nothing to worry about. I think they’re taking a little thing and trying to do something about it.”

Whether the teacher is accused of deliberately helping students cheat is unclear.

Wait spoke with Burbank’s superintendent earlier today and she declined an on camera interview. What is certain – the test scores are now invalid for the students in question and the school’s academic performance rating could be impacted.

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