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Missing test booklet stolen, lost or misplaced?

Sounds like a tempest in a teapot. Does the quoted parent really think the school is holding secret sessions to prep kids for the test? They've probably already been prepping for months.

By Margaret K. Collins


WAYNE -- A booklet containing questions for a stressful statewide test disappeared from a township middle school during several days of testing last week.

"There is a test booklet that we've not been able to locate," Superintendent Maria Nuccetelli said Thursday. "We've done our own internal investigation and are looking at the entire [testing] process and reviewing that."

A copy of the Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment (GEPA) exam disappeared from the newly-opened Anthony Wayne Middle School while the test was being administered last week. It is unclear whether the test was stolen, lost or misplaced, Nuccetelli said.

The GEPA is a state exam given to eighth graders. Test scores are used to evaluate a school's progress. Insufficient progress can result in penalties for the school under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Nuccetelli said she notified the state Department of Education of the breach and is waiting to hear back about how to proceed. The school's principal, Diane Pandolfi, did not return a call for comment.

Anthony Wayne on Garside Avenue is one of three middle schools in the township. It opened in September with about 700 students and 90 staff members.

Ginny Brady, a member of the Anthony Wayne Parent Teacher Organization, said she did not know about the missing test.

But the father of a student at George Washington Middle School -- who preferred not to identify himself by name -- said he had heard about it and was very concerned.

"It puts Anthony Wayne Middle School at an unfair advantage," he said of the possibility that students could have used the test booklet to improve their scores.

Nuccetelli wouldn't say where the test was taken from, adding there is no definitive evidence that the test was taken by a student or used by any students. "We're not pointing fingers at anybody," she said. "We're still in the process of gathering information."

E-mail: collinsp@northjersey.com

— Margaret K. Collins
NorthJersey.com


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