Skip to comments.Feds: Teachers embroiled in test-taking fraud
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 ...
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.
Seems the whole country is corrupt.
Of course what is unstated is the race of the perps. Any guesses?
How ironic that a cheating scandal involved the name "Philander."
A mind is a terrible thing to waste: Philander Smith College
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.)
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.
He’s the tip top of the iceberg.
See post 5. It seems that “also in the South” is now also “racist code words.”
...its because everyone got into a education-degree, which basically teaches you how to
teach, pretend that you know how to teach, but didnt really cover the topic to any significant degree.....
Fixed it up a bit.
Sad. Even the teachers cheat.
Thanks for the ping.
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. .
Wait till you see what happens when teacher pay is linked to student scores.
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?
Geez, how hard could that have been?
Well, since the Fall hasn’t all of humanity been corrupt?
Would love some photos of these despicables..
When Clinton’s lie became a joke...why worry?
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.
“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.
“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.
“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 hed 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)
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.
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!
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.
That is outright theft and fraud.
The legacy of Willie “Hump ‘em” Harrington.
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