State Pushes for Resolution in Rye Testing Scandal
Published: February 23, 2015 Publication: NY Patch By Alfred Branch This story was updated at 10:54 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, to include a statement from Rye School Superintendent Dr. Frank Alvarez. The length of time it is taking to determine an outcome in the ongoing testing situation involving Rye elementary school teacher Carin Mehler has apparently “alarmed” state education officials. Mehler sits at home collecting her six-figure salary, unable to return to the classroom but also unable to be reassigned in the district. According to The Journal News, the matter has state education official Tina Sciocchetti pushing for a resolution. Sciocchetti is the executive director of the Test Security and Educator Integrity office, and she helped put together a call between the district and Mehler’s reps last fall, but a resolution was not reached, writes The Journal News. More than two years ago, Mehler and three other teachers were alleged to have unfairly coached students who were taking state tests. Mehler has not been formally charged; the other three have reached some sort of resolutions in their cases. “[Sciocchetti] said she was alarmed the case has been open this long,” Mehler’s attorney Arthur Schwartz told The Journal News. “They had never had a set of charges open for so long and expressed amazement that no charges had been brought.” Rye School Superintendent Dr. Frank Alvarez disputes Schwartz’s sentiments and the way the district and the case is being characterized, and he issued the following statement: “Given significant inaccuracies contained in a recent article in the Journal News, it is important that we clarify the record for the public and provide the community with accurate information regarding this important matter.
The article contains an erroneous representation of facts by Arthur Schwartz, the attorney representing Carin Mehler.
In the article, Arthur Schwartz, attributes statements to the Executive Director of the State Education Department’s Test Security and Educator Integrity Unit, Tina E. Sciocchetti, which Ms. Sciocchetti has advised the District, in writing, were never made by her, to anyone, at any time.
The District continues to work towards an appropriate resolution of this matter and will do so irrespective of the actions of Ms. Mehler’s representatives.”