The middle school principal at Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy has been placed on administrative leave while state investigators look into allegations that she gave five students additional opportunities to complete a state standardized test.
The high-stakes Criterion Referenced Tests are used to evaluate student progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. State law does not allow officials to give students extra help or time with the tests.
Citing personnel issues, Agassi officials did not name the principal. The school Web site identified the middle school principal as Bevelyn Smothers, who was hired in 2009.
In an e-mail, Smothers said she was willing to discuss the incident but did not call the Review-Journal before deadline.
Smothers has previously worked as the principal of Swainston Middle School in North Las Vegas and as an assistant principal at Western and Cheyenne high schools.
"She is certain that her administrative experiences provide additional leadership to Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in a creative, authentic, innovative manner," states Smothers’ biography on the school Web site.
In a public statement, Agassi officials said they were cooperating with investigators from the Clark County School District and the Nevada Department of Education.
Henry King, a consultant who oversees criterion reference tests for the state, confirmed the investigation is under way. King said it was his understanding that a teacher had made allegations against the principal.
Depending on the results of the investigation, Smothers could lose her teaching license, King said.
District officials clarified that they only reported the allegations to the state. As a public charter school, Agassi is not part of the district. It is operated by the Agassi Foundation and, as a charter school, receives state funding based on its enrollment.
Located east of the intersection of Martin Luther King and Lake Mead boulevards, the school served 581 students last year.
In a letter to parents, Agassi Chancellor Marsha Irvin said, "I want to assure the Agassi Prep Community that we take this allegation very seriously and will do everything in our power to find out what happened as well as review all testing procedures to remove any ambiguity about testing procedures in the future."
Contact reporter James Haug at email@example.com or 702-374-7917.