Court rules in favor of Philadelphia principal fired over cheating

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 13, 2017 3:24 PM

(Harrisburg) -- A Pennsylvania appeals court says a principal fired over a cheating scandal should get her job back.

Commonwealth Court overturned a Philadelphia judge's decision in the case of Michelle Burns. She was fired in January 2014 after Philadelphia school district officials accused her in a cheating scandal at William T. Tilden Middle School.

State education officials concluded that standardized tests taken by students at Tilden were doctored in 2009 and 2010 in order to improve scores. School district officials allege Burns either took part in the cheating or was negligent by failing to detect it.

An arbitrator initially overturned the firing, saying Burns did not participate in the cheating but only failed to prevent it. That kicked off several rounds of legal appeals.

The school district can appeal the latest ruling to the state Supreme Court.

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