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Cheating Story is Wrong, Hastings and Dobbs Say

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – The Hastings and Dobbs Ferry school districts said allegations made in a recent New York Times article that said some local schools may have cheated on state Regents exams were unfair and false.

Farragut Middle School in Hastings was listed as one of the schools having an inordinate number of wrong answers erased and changed to correct on the Algebra Regents exams in June 2009. Farragut Principal Gail Kipper said there was no wrongdoing by the school.

"There's absolutely nothing to back this up," Kipper said. "There was never any wrongdoing and no one contacted us, so to just put us on a list just feels terribly irresponsible."

Kipper also said there was no negligence on the school's part.

"Our monitoring practices for the regents Algebra exams, for all of our exams are solid," she said.

Hastings Superintendent Timothy Connors said suggestions made in the article that Hastings was involved in cheating were flat-out wrong.

"The New York Times did a disservice in writing this implying that schools were suspect or accused of cheating," he said. "No such things have occurred. We've never received any notifications from the state in any way that they were concerned about the quality of our testing practices here in Hastings."

Connors said the report was unfair and irresponsible since the district was not notified of any potential wrongdoing.

"Nobody had called us with any findings or concerns that they had," he said. "It was unfair to the employees and students in all the school districts [named in the article]."

Dobbs Ferry Superintendent Lisa Brady was quick to clarify that the Dobbs Ferry school implicated was not one of the public schools in the district, but rather the private school Our Lady of Victory Academy.

"This statement is very misleading as none of the Dobbs Ferry Public Schools were ever suspect and, in fact, it was a private school in the area that the article was referring to," Brady said in an official statement.

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