District says it will investigate Cayuga allegations

The Philadelphia School District has said that it will investigate the cheating allegations reported to The Inquirer by Cayuga Elementary School staffers and parents.

The state Department of Education and Inspector General's Office are also investigating, but district officials said that in light of the new allegations, they would launch their own investigation.

Penny Nixon, the district's chief academic officer, stressed that the district takes the allegations "very, very seriously."

Complaints of alleged cheating at Cayuga have been made in the past and were the subject of district investigations, but could not be corroborated, officials said.

Cayuga is one of 13 Philadelphia district schools flagged for suspicious results in its 2009 state exams.  The district has said it will wait for the state to complete their investigation before it looks into the matter further or takes action; the Cayuga investigation will be launched separately because of the teachers' allegations made in The Inquirer, officials said.