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Feds: Teachers embroiled in test-taking fraud
Yahoo News ^ | November 25, 2012 | Adrian Sainz AP

Posted on 11/25/2012 8:48:05 AM PST by Uncle Chip

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — It was a brazen and surprisingly long-lived scheme, authorities said, to help aspiring public school teachers cheat on the tests they must pass to prove they are qualified to lead their classrooms.

For 15 years, teachers in three Southern states paid Clarence Mumford Sr. — himself a longtime educator — to send someone else to take the tests in their place, authorities said. Each time, Mumford received a fee of between $1,500 and $3,000 to send one of his test ringers with fake identification to the Praxis exam.

.......

Mumford faces more than 60 fraud and conspiracy charges that claim he created fake driver's licenses with the information of a teacher or an aspiring teacher and attached the photograph of a test-taker. Prospective teachers are accused of giving Mumford their Social Security numbers for him to make the fake identities.

The hired-test takers went to testing centers, showed the proctor the fake license, and passed the certification exam, prosecutors say. Then, the aspiring teacher used the test score to secure a job with a public school district, the indictment alleges. Fourteen people have been charged with mail and Social Security fraud, and four people have pleaded guilty to charges associated with the scheme.

Mumford "obtained tens of thousands of dollars" during the alleged conspiracy, which prosecutors say lasted from 1995 to 2010 in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Among those charged is former University of Tennessee and NFL wide receiver Cedrick Wilson, who is accused of employing a test-taker for a Praxis physical education exam. He was charged in late October with four counts of Social Security and mail fraud. He has pleaded not guilty and is out of jail on a $10,000 bond. He has been suspended by the Memphis City Schools system.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: education; fraud; teachers

1 posted on 11/25/2012 8:48:13 AM PST by Uncle Chip
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To: Uncle Chip

Bottom line? It really says a lot to who folks hired to be teachers and educators....that they couldn’t take a test on the subjects they teach. But if pull the top layer off...it’s because everyone got into a ‘education-degree’, which basically teaches you how to teach, but didn’t really cover the topic to any significant degree. We all allowed the board of education and the County Superintendent that we elected....to hire weak ‘education-degree’ folks. You could have skated through four years of college and know mostly nothing about topics, but we’ve hired you to teach those topics. So two groups are at fault here.

As for replacing these who are caught cheating? Well....we will find more of the educational-degree folks, with weak backgrounds....to replace them. It’s that simple.

If I may suggest this....you might as well find a fairly smart 20-year old who finished up two years at a community college and has a math-science type degree....to teach strictly math at your local school, and pay the guy a starting pay of $32k a year, and he’d be awful happy. For the next twenty years, the kids would all get a real math professional instead of some ‘educational-degree’ individual.


2 posted on 11/25/2012 8:55:07 AM PST by pepsionice
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To: Uncle Chip

Seems the whole country is corrupt.


3 posted on 11/25/2012 8:55:30 AM PST by hattend (Firearms and ammunition...the only growing industries under the Obama regime.)
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To: Uncle Chip

Of course what is unstated is the race of the perps. Any guesses?


4 posted on 11/25/2012 8:57:19 AM PST by twister881
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To: Uncle Chip
"...a large-scale scandal involving teacher certification tests was discovered in 2000, also in the South... 52 teachers [paid] up to $1,000 apiece to a former Educational Testing Services proctor to ensure a passing grade... Teachers from Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi took tests through Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark., in 1998. The college was not accused of wrongdoing.

How ironic that a cheating scandal involved the name "Philander."

A mind is a terrible thing to waste: Philander Smith College

5 posted on 11/25/2012 8:58:51 AM PST by Albion Wilde ("Not only no, but HELL NO we will NOT moderate our stance."-- Jim Robinson)
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To: pepsionice; Scoutmaster

It’s not a bug, it’s a feature. No doubt these educators were well qualified to help their students achieve Unexpected! high scores on important tests.

(Big-city school-system follies ping, Scoutmaster.)


6 posted on 11/25/2012 9:00:02 AM PST by Tax-chick (Are you getting ready for the Advent Kitteh?)
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To: Uncle Chip
IMHO...
actually the FEDS are screaming, "Where's Our Cut"
It's a really just warehousing job...
..when using the NEA Unions thugs..as "enforcers"

7 posted on 11/25/2012 9:00:11 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (Anger a Conservative by telling a lie; Anger a Liberal by telling the truth....RWR 8-)
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To: Uncle Chip

I took the CBEST test in California, to qualify for sub positions. The test is a joke, I could have passed it as a high school senior. Many educators, however, claim it’s too difficult.


8 posted on 11/25/2012 9:00:28 AM PST by Huskrrrr
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To: Uncle Chip

He’s the tip top of the iceberg.


9 posted on 11/25/2012 9:01:01 AM PST by jdsteel (Give me freedom, not more government.)
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To: twister881

See post 5. It seems that “also in the South” is now also “racist code words.”


10 posted on 11/25/2012 9:02:20 AM PST by Albion Wilde ("Not only no, but HELL NO we will NOT moderate our stance."-- Jim Robinson)
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To: pepsionice
Quote..."...it’s because everyone got into a ‘education-degree’, which basically teaches you how to teach, but didn’t really cover the topic to any significant degree."

...it’s because everyone got into a ‘education-degree’, which basically teaches you how to teach, pretend that you know how to teach, but didn’t really cover the topic to any significant degree.....

Fixed it up a bit.

11 posted on 11/25/2012 9:08:03 AM PST by wesagain (The God (Elohim) of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the One True GOD.)
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To: Uncle Chip

Sad. Even the teachers cheat.


12 posted on 11/25/2012 9:15:56 AM PST by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: Tax-chick

Thanks for the ping.


13 posted on 11/25/2012 9:18:24 AM PST by Scoutmaster
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To: Uncle Chip

Clarence Mumford Sr

*********

(WMC-TV) - A son has been indicted for allegedly scamming his way into a teaching job just a month after his father was indicted for heading up a group that investigators say took tests for aspiring teachers. RELATED ITEMS News release on indictment against Clarence Mumford, Jr., and Dante Dowers 

Man accused of orchestrating teacher certification scheme Clarence Mumford, Jr., is accused of having someone else take his PRAXIS exam. Federal prosecutors say he used those test results to become a licensed educator in Tennessee.

********

John Bowen, 63, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, Social Security fraud and fraud in connection with identification documents. Bowen admitted he was paid by the scam's ringleader, Clarence Mumford, Sr., to take certification tests under other people's identities.

Mumford, Sr., his son Clarence Mumford, Jr., and Dante Dowers were charged in a 49-count indictment for fraud and aggravated identity theft for charging aspiring teachers in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas $1,500 to $3,000 per test to have stand-ins take the Praxis certification for them. According to the indictment, the scam ran from 1995 to March 2010.

Bowen stated at his hearing he met Mumford, Sr. during the 1994-95 school year while he was a substitute teacher at Humes High School, where Mumford was the assistant principal. Bowen said he had three or four tests per year since 2000 and was paid hundreds of dollars for each test. Investigators eventually caught Bowen in 2009 when he took two tests under two identities on the same day at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. Other test takers hired by Mumford were also present at the time doing the same thing.

*********

Man in Teaching Fraud Scandal Gets DUI Trial Continuance Tunica County, Ms -

A day after being indicted and accused of acting as the ringleader of a 3-state teacher test-taking scheme, Clarence Mumford did not come to court in Tunica County, Mississippi. He was arrested by sheriff's deputies there in April after being picked up at a Robinsonville convenience store for DUI and indecent exposure. Mumford's trial in that case, set for Wednesday, has been continued. Meanwhile his Federal case in Memphis is just getting started. .

14 posted on 11/25/2012 9:27:35 AM PST by kcvl
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To: freekitty

Wait till you see what happens when teacher pay is linked to student scores.


15 posted on 11/25/2012 9:33:05 AM PST by A_perfect_lady (Great nations are born stoic and die epicurean. -Will Durant)
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To: Uncle Chip

and the RATS, take another one in the.........HA ha!!!

16 posted on 11/25/2012 9:54:29 AM PST by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: kcvl

Did I miss it....where are the names of those teachers who took part in the 3-state teacher test-taking scheme? Are they still teaching/collecting salaries/retirement perks? Where is the fall out today?


17 posted on 11/25/2012 10:22:58 AM PST by yoe
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To: Uncle Chip
Among those charged is former University of Tennessee and NFL wide receiver Cedrick Wilson, who is accused of employing a test-taker for a Praxis physical education exam.

Geez, how hard could that have been?

18 posted on 11/25/2012 10:31:43 AM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: hattend

Well, since the Fall hasn’t all of humanity been corrupt?


19 posted on 11/25/2012 11:11:57 AM PST by vladimir998
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To: Uncle Chip

Would love some photos of these despicables..


20 posted on 11/25/2012 12:05:27 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: Uncle Chip

When Clinton’s lie became a joke...why worry?


21 posted on 11/25/2012 12:27:12 PM PST by bannie ("The gov't that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.")
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To: Uncle Chip

I went to a doctor once. Obviously they asked for ID, but they also took a picture of me. Wouldn’t it be nice if the people administering these tests also could find a way to take a nice, pretty, picture of each stand-in, sorry, I mean future teacher.


22 posted on 11/25/2012 12:41:27 PM PST by BobL (You can live each day only once. You can waste a few, but don't waste too many.)
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To: Uncle Chip

“Prosecutors and standardized test experts...”

Johnny, what do you want to be when you grow up.

(in a high-pitched voice) “I want to be a Standardized Test Expert”.

If people want to know why this country is sinking by the day, one only has to look at career options...like this one.


23 posted on 11/25/2012 12:44:19 PM PST by BobL (You can live each day only once. You can waste a few, but don't waste too many.)
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To: Uncle Chip

“Teachers from Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi took tests through PHILANDER Smith College...” (emphasis mine)

No, NOTHING in that name suggests cheating. One has to be an ABSOLUTE IDIOT to even believe a college with that name exists - much less accept any test scores coming from them.


24 posted on 11/25/2012 12:47:09 PM PST by BobL (You can live each day only once. You can waste a few, but don't waste too many.)
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To: pepsionice

“If I may suggest this....you might as well find a fairly smart 20-year old who finished up two years at a community college and has a math-science type degree....to teach strictly math at your local school, and pay the guy a starting pay of $32k a year, and he’d be awful happy. For the next twenty years, the kids would all get a real math professional instead of some ‘educational-degree’ individual.”

...and if we GOT RID OF UNIONS for teachers, then your kid could get a job and be a big help to hundreds (or thousands) of others trying to learn those subjects.

(I’m just guessing it’s your kid)


25 posted on 11/25/2012 12:52:18 PM PST by BobL (You can live each day only once. You can waste a few, but don't waste too many.)
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To: A_perfect_lady

The saddest thing is that Mr. Munford apparently is smart enough to pass these tests each time. It’s a shame he didn’t stick to teaching - because he seems to be one of the few with a brain in that profession.


26 posted on 11/25/2012 12:54:39 PM PST by BobL (You can live each day only once. You can waste a few, but don't waste too many.)
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To: Uncle Chip; duffee; onyx; DrewsMum; Tupelo; mstar; jdirt; Vietnam Vet From New Mexico; wardaddy; ...

Mississippi ping


27 posted on 11/25/2012 12:54:44 PM PST by WKB ( Remember "Bush Lied and People Died" Now it's "People died and Obama Lied")
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To: pepsionice
I have long thought the entire education system would improve dramatically if they followed the private business plan.

What I mean is hire real educated people based on actual GPAs and pay them as one would pay a newly graduated engineer (for example). Also, give them yearly evaluations by people who see their actual work (most principals never see what a teacher is like on a day to day basis in the classroom). Fire them when they don't perform to standards and no tenure! In addition, let people go to the schools that have the best reputation or put out the best (most qualified) product (educated students). Honest to goodness competition would go a long way towards creating better schools.

As I said, if our education system was run like a business, I think we would have top notch students!

28 posted on 11/25/2012 12:56:09 PM PST by CAluvdubya (We're doomed....)
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To: pepsionice

My neighbor’s daughter graduated with a degree in biology and is now teaching science at a local middle school. She had to take 6 weeks of training first in how to be a teacher and the responsibilities of her position. I hope they did not ruin her in the process.


29 posted on 11/25/2012 1:17:29 PM PST by ruesrose (The Anchor Holds)
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To: FReepers; Patriots

FR really needs your help!

Please Contribute Today.

FReepathon Day 56!!

30 posted on 11/25/2012 1:23:20 PM PST by onyx (FREE REPUBLIC IS HERE TO STAY! DONATE MONTHLY! IF YOU WANT ON SARAH PALIN''S PING LIST, LET ME KNOW)
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To: pepsionice
There are EDU majors teaching math at universities now, who can neither understand the material nor teach it.

That is outright theft and fraud.

31 posted on 11/25/2012 1:40:12 PM PST by meadsjn
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To: Uncle Chip

The legacy of Willie “Hump ‘em” Harrington.


32 posted on 11/26/2012 6:12:57 PM PST by vetvetdoug
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