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Manatee teacher accused of helping students cheat

MANATEE — A Prine Elementary teacher could soon lose her job for allegedly helping her first-grade class cheat on the Stanford Achievement Test this past spring.

Katherine Harris, who has worked in the Manatee County School District since 2005, positioned students to sit side-by-side with their desks touching and placed high-functioning students next to low-functioning students as they took the Stanford Achievement Test in April, according to an administrative complaint filed by school district attorney Scott Martin.

Harris also allegedly told some students to re-do portions of the test if their answers were wrong and told students where they could find the answers to the problems they were working on.

Her actions were reported to school officials by two teacher’s aides who proctored for Harris during the test given April 12-14.

The complaint goes on to state Harris also fudged some of her students’ report cards, giving them higher grades than they deserved. When confronted by school officials, she reportedly admitted the students should have received lower grades.

Superintendent Tim McGonegal wants her fired.

Harris could not be immediately reached for comment.

But school records show she has requested an administrative hearing.

During its regular meeting on Monday the school board will decide whether to fire Harris or grant her an administrative hearing and suspend her without pay.

Prine is located at 3801 Southern Parkway in Bradenton.