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Teacher Who Committed Suicide Forged Common Core Test Answers, DOE Says

By Gustavo Solis | July 27, 2015 4:36pm
 Teachers College Community School is located on 126th Street and Morningside Avenue.
Teachers College Community School is located on 126th Street and Morningside Avenue.
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DNAinfo/Jeff Mays

WEST HARLEM — The principal of an elementary school who killed herself the day after her students took the state’s third-grade exams forged test answers after multiple students failed to complete their tests, a city investigation found.

The test results have been invalidated.

Jeanene Worrell-Breeden, 49, principal of the Teachers College Community School since it opened in 2011, died after jumping in front of a B Train on 135th Street in April, less than 24 hours after the Common Core test, the New York Post first reported.

The Office of Special Investigations was looking into the test results after a tipster's email accused Worrell-Breeden of forging answers on the Third Grade English Language Arts exam, according to the DOE.

She was not interviewed for the investigation before her passing, but the DOE would not say if she was aware of the accusation.

“Principal Worrell-Breeden was the subject of allegations of testing improprieties,” said spokeswoman Devora Kaye. “An investigation substantiated these allegations, and we closed the investigation following her tragic passing. This is a difficult time for the TCCS school community, and we will provide ongoing support to students, families, and teachers.”

Worrell-Breeden had been with the DOE since 1990 and previously worked as the principal of PS 18 in The Bronx, according to the DOE.

Worrell-Breeden’s passing, “has torn at the heart of the Teacher College Community School and the broader neighborhood,” City Councilman Mark Levine said in a statement. “New details emerging about the circumstances of her death will only compound this pain.”

Levine, who represents West Harlem, said her suicide should not take away from everything the school has accomplished.

“The wonderful students, parents, and staff of TCCS have built a vibrant and remarkably diverse educational community that has quickly become one of the most sought-after schools in northern Manhattan,” he said. “The tragic nature of Ms. Worrell-Breeden’s passing should not in any way detract from that success.”