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Principal, School Employees May Be Fired Over FCAT Tampering

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s a year of firsts for the Ramz Academy, a charter school in Little Havana.

It’s the school’s first year in operation and it’s the first time they are giving their students the FCATs.

Another first – the school’s principal and two employees have been suspended pending termination, according to attorney Maria Del Carmen Calzon.

Principal Julio Carrera is accused of tampering with the FCAT materials several days before the test was to be administered.

“To cheat, to manipulate the scores of the FCAT testing, the principal was trying to disseminate the information that was on the test,” said Calzon.

Investigators say a first year teacher at the school was the whistleblower. After she reportedly learned about the plan, she contacted the school’s Board of Directors.

In letter sent to the parents, school officials said “the swift investigation found that several employees tried to manipulate the FCAT test to cause a change in the schools’ overall grade. The plan was foiled.”

CBS4 News repeatedly tried to contact Carrera, but he was unavailable.

The Florida Department of Education said any Ramz Academy employees involved in the incident could possibly lose their teaching certificates.

Parents support the charter school’s staff suspensions.

“I think it’s horrible, I don’t know what to say, but I think they should do away with the FCAT anyways,” said Christine Rivero, who has a child in kindergarten at the school.

Both Miami-Dade Schools and Florida Department of Education are following this investigation. However, a charter school, the county’s school district doesn’t have much regulatory authority over how the school is run.

There’s no word when Ramzs’ students may finally take their FCAT.

That’s up to the Florida Department of Education.

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