Supt.: Nothing wrong with Fremont ACT, MME

FREMONT, Mich. (WOOD) — The superintendent of Fremont Public Schools said his district did nothing wrong while administering the ACT and Michigan Merit Exam last month.

The Michigan Department of Education is investigating whether the tests were improperly administered at Fremont High School, a spokesman told 24 Hour News 8 last week. A tipster told 24 Hour News 8 the high school juniors taking the tests were helped by calculators that had a program on them with step-by-step instructions to solve some types of math problems.

Fremont schools officials told 24 Hour News 8 Monday they believe the calculators shown in photos given to 24 Hour News 8 by the tipster belong to the district. ACT said Monday similar programs providing step-by-step instructions are allowed during its test.

Superintendent John Hieftje said the high school has no credible information about cheating or misuse of calculators during the tests.

“This is a district of high integrity,” Hieftje said.

He said he doesn’t know precisely why the district is under investigation. The Michigan Department of Education has no released an official statement outlining a reason for its investigation.

A statement from Fremont Public Schools Superintendent John Hieftje:

“There has been an anonymous allegation that Fremont High School condoned cheating on last month’s ACT test by allowing students to use a calculator during the test. Cheating is repugnant to the policies and values of Fremont Public Schools, which is committed to excellence in all that we do. The High School rigidly follows the ACT testing protocols which are very demanding. ACT guidelines specifically authorize the use of student calculators during the ACT test, including the TI-ASPIRE. The ACT Manual specifically states: “Some calculators may have mathematical formulas printed on the calculator itself; this is permitted. Likewise, some calculators come with preprinted instructions for the use of the calculator that are inserted into the calculator cover and carried with it; these instructions do not need to be removed. Calculators are NOT TO BE CLEARED by staff before or during the test.”

“The High School has no credible information at this time of cheating, misuse of calculators during the ACT test or of any violation of ACT testing protocols. Nonetheless, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has said that it is conducting an investigation into this allegation, which has not yet been shared with the District. The District is cooperating with the MDE investigation and is conducting its own internal review. We will wait to comment further on this allegation after the investigation and reviews are completed.

“While it is easy to focus on a negative allegation, no one should lose sight of the many positive activities that have occurred over the past year and which continue to occur across the District in academics, athletics and the arts.”

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