Fort Collins Teacher Accused Of Giving Students Hints During CSAP Testing

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)- A teacher in Fort Collins is accused of giving hints to her students during CSAP tests.

Julie Pfeifer teaches math at Webber Middle School. She is accused of coaching her students before the Colorado Student Assessment Program test was administered.

“I thought what I did was best for the kids. There was no cheating. No hints. That’s disgusting. That’s got to be diffused right now,” said Pfeifer.

The superintendent of the Poudre School District sent a letter to the school board recommending that Pfeifer be fired for violating CSAP rules while administering the test in March.

The district has since thrown out the math test results for 23 middle school students, stating the teacher used test session time before the test to review material that would be on the test. They also claim Pfeifer advised students to use the centimeter side of their ruler during the test. It is also alleged that she hinted to at least three students that they should reconsider their answers on the test.

Pfeifer has been teaching in the district for more than 22 years and was awarded teacher of the year 2004.

Parents and Pfeifer’s former students supported her at Tuesday night’s school board meeting.

“I just don’t see why you would take CSAP’s and put that above her excellence as a teacher,” said parent Laura Guice. “It’s an outrage. We’re not talking about some teacher who should have retired 10 years ago. We’re talking about an amazing teacher.”

“I think there’s a bigger issue. I feel like I’m being used as an example,” said Pfeifer. “That if you possibly make a mistake or a perceived mistake on the CSAP you could be fired. They seem to be abusing power. I don’t think I made a mistake.”

The school administration declined to make a statement on camera, but did say the superintendent’s recommendation is the first step in a hearing process that will determine whether Pfeifer will lose her job.

“Most of the kids in the room were not my students. What would be my motivation to hurt myself and my family, who I love so much, and my kids?” asked Pfeifer.

  • feywit

    The pressure placed on CSAPs are beyond ridiculous. Eliminate the use of these foolish tests and allow students to actually learn.
    This woman is obviously a fabulous teacher and is helping students gain math skills. Shame on this school district for even considering dispensing with such a fine instructor.

  • Rick Garcia


  • Jody

    This harkens to the absurdity of No Child Left Behind, where teachers and entire schools are held to impossible standards to create a facade of “progress.” Behind the facade, however, is a very dark reality. Pfeifer shouldn’t be fired but should instead have a letter of reprimand placed on her record. I personally know of several teachers who have done much worse than Pfeifer’s pre-test counseling. NCLB is nonsense created by high-ranking dreamers who never had to implement the joke they created.

  • jb80538

    When my son was in middle school, certain groups were allowed out of the CSAP’s because it was felt that they would pull down the overall scores.These tests really do nothing. many kids just “christmas tree” the answer sheet.
    They really should be done away with. There is a large expense for little in return.

  • Judy Castro

    Julie taught at least one of our sons, and they loved her and math….unlike myself as a child. What are our priorities? What is best for all?

  • Konnie

    CSAP’s are ridiculous… no value whatsoever except to get teachers in trouble one way or another, either they “don’t prepare students, spend too much time preparing and now this”. She is a teacher, let her teach

  • Ted Whitus

    This amounts to the unwritten rule of pushing kids through school even though they can’t even read their Diploma. No child left behind simply means no child flunking no matter what the school system has to do to make it look good on paper. I know of a lot of High School graduates that are so illiterate they can’t hardly spell their own name. I am sure the School Administration is complicit in this shenanigan and they are disciplining this teacher to save face. Shameful.

  • Cole

    I am a former student of Mrs. Pfeifer (going into 9th grade) and this is absolutely ridiculous. I was there the entire time this was happening. Obviously somebody is out to get her for some reason. Plus, CSAP should not be taken this seriously. Shame on all of you CSAP people. She did nothing wrong.

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