One of the Woodbridge 'Cheating Scandal' Teachers is Fired

John Radzik, a third grade teacher at Avenel Street School, has been dismissed following a NJ Department of Education arbitration hearing.

One of the five Woodbridge school district educators who were placed on paid suspension last year on allegations of cheating misbehavior to increase standardized test scores has been fired.

The Board of Education voted to dismiss John Radzik - once named Teacher of the Year - on April 18, based on the results of a NJ Department of Education arbitration report.

"We prevailed. We proved most of our accusations. There was a whole list of them," said School Superintendent Dr. Robert Zega. Radzik, he said, was one of the first teachers in the state to go before an arbitration board rather than a Board of Examiners.

Zega replaced former Superintendent Dr. John Crowe, who resigned as the details and scope of the cheating scandal came to light last summer.

Radzik, a third grade teacher at Avenel Street School #4 & #5, had been the subject of an arbitration hearing in March, based on charges that Radzik, along with other teachers and administrators, had engaged in a pattern of coaching students during tests, and in some cases, giving them answers outright.

The NJ Department of Education's Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance (OFAC) had been investigating the cheating charges that has spread over several of the Woodbridge District's schools. The particular tests in question were given during the 2010 and 2011 school year.

Two of the teachers at Avenel Street accused in the cheating debacle and who are on paid suspension are Stephanie Klecan and Lisa Sivilio. Klecan, the arbitrator's report said, is Radzik's first cousin, while Sivilio is now Radzik's wife, having married him in June, 2012 just before the cheating scandal broke.

Activities 'warrant dismissal'

In the report dated April 17, Joseph Licata, the state arbitrator assigned to the case, found that Radzik had engaged in activities that "warrant dismissal." Radizk was dismissed based on "charges unbecoming of a teacher," which Licata said in the report were "especially egregious." He believed charges that Radzik had provided answers to third grade students, using coins to show students the correct answers on the math portion of the NJ ASK standardized test, and giving students extra time to finish.

"Radzik's misconduct was extremely harmful to the Woodbridge School District in the eyes of the public," the report said.

"...[E]ven if Radzik acted purely to protect his students, there is a profound difference between giving a student a push in the right direction and riding the bicycle for him."

The report pulled back a curtain into the details of the cheating scandal and the OFAC investigation.

During witness examinations, Radzik and Klecan, among others, said they felt pressured or were threatened with reassignment if testing scores weren't up to snuff by former Assistant Schools Superintendent Lois Rotella. 

Rotella resigned in August, 2012 as the cheating scandal came to light.

Because of the pressure, Radzik said in the report that he spent a third to "a little less than half" of each school day during the 2009-2010 school year tutoring students specifically on NJ ASK test prep.

The OFAC investigation into the extraordinarily high scores at Avenel Street School in August, 2012 revealed that the probability that 45 percent of the school's third graders receiving perfect scores on the math portion of the NJ ASK test was approximately one in 100 million.

That probability, the report noted, was "100 times more unlikely than being struck by lightning."

Brain-injured child gets a perfect math score

One of the more painful results of artificially elevating the scores of students was that those who needed extra help in fourth grade didn't receive it.  

Children who had apparently earned high marks on the NJ ASK tests, despite having learning or cognitive disorders, were denied attention and special classes when they were promoted to the next grade, the report noted.

In 2011, the report said, Radzik administered the test to six special needs students, including one who had a traumatic brain injury and an IQ in the low 70s, and another with a cognitive impairment and an 68 IQ.

According to the report, the brain-injured student received a perfect score on the math test and was ranked as "advanced proficient" on the language arts part of the test. The student with the cognitive impairment received an "advanced proficient" and "proficient" score on the math and language arts portions of the test, respectively.

A teacher who worked with the cognitively impaired student said that he couldn't remember from the morning to the afternoon what had been taught to him, and they would have to "reteach the skill."

Because students had received such high NJ ASK scores, it precluded them from getting help that students with special needs would usually receive. That was the reason why "A Mom," one of the tipsters who alerted the Department of Education about the goings-on at Avenel Street, wrote an anonymous letter. Her child, whom she said wasn't good at reading or writing, couldn't receive help he needed following his stellar NJ ASK test results.

Radzik held a dual certification as a teacher and principal. The report says that Radzik's "rising star status" was based upon glowing reviews he received, much of which was because of his heavy involvement with the NJ ASK tests, and his desire to be promoted to principal. Radzik was said to be acting as a de facto administrator of the test at Avenel Street.

Radzik could not be reached for comment.

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Silence Dogood April 27, 2013 at 03:19 PM
You commend all who are seeing this with eyes wide open? Give me a break. And no I am not Mr. Radzik but do know the family very well which is why I can speak of things as being true. As far as the principals saying those things? Definitely false accusations which is the norm in this town. No principal is going to lie about something so unimportant. And yes I will take a lie detector on that one too. And no if you had a clue you would realize that no students said he cheated. Not one. The only thing that was said about a student was a supposed overhearing of a conversation beween a student and a teacher by another teacher. When the original teacher who supposedly had this conversation refused to testify to that. HAHAHA. I really wish you could get just ONE FACT right so I could think something other than that you are a complete moron with your head in the sand crying about your life being miserable. Just again to correct you since that is basically what I have to do all the time, look at the written decision by the arbitrator. The reason he was let go was due to his doing to much test prep. FACT. Not because of cheating or changing answers FACT. Please please please just do me a favor and have an idea, just an idea of what you are talking about, You really do look like a moron. I have the facts and all of the facts. Please just get a grip.
Silence Dogood April 27, 2013 at 03:26 PM
You can scream until you are blue in the face about how much you do not like him. We get it. You dont like him. But grow up. You will realize when you do that, what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. I honestly hope that no one in your family is ever accused of a crime they did not commit in this town because they will lose just like Radzik did. You cannot beat the house. That is really the fact. If you knew about where these charges of cheating stemmed from and by who (since we now know who did it) you would see that the person who started this, started this because she hated Radzik. So just really take a step back and see past the fireworks and magic show and you will see what really happened in this township which is notoriously corrupt. Keep in mind Radzik has over 20 years in teaching between work and schooling. Why would he do it if he didnt love to teach?
NotInKansasAnymore April 27, 2013 at 03:54 PM
I don't know. Perhaps he could become a realtor or perhaps a used car salesman. Or a snake charmer.
Jo April 27, 2013 at 05:34 PM
Oh Dogood, if there is one thing that is true, I do have my facts straight and I can not thank you enough for proving my point and the point of so many others. You have proven how the people in this district will protect their own no matter what! You are "close friends with the family" (hear that one way to many times around here). You obviously are in his class while teaching as you said you "personally watched those lesson plans being written practiced and executed to a tee" as well as other comments leading us to believe you were in fact present while he taught. Either you were there or, as I still believe, your are Radzik. Either way, your comments now hold no water anymore. You're close to the family, work for the district which he probably got you the job and in no way can u possibly see through anything but tainted eyes. Thank of again, you completely showed your colors and the colors of a district before the state came in and called them all out. It was all good until he got caught, suddenly it's everyones elses fault! As far as the principal saying she is close to the family. Your right, a principal wouldnt lie about something so minor therefore her comment was true. As far as u taking a lie detector, obviously that isnt possible because YOU werent there, you didnt hear the comment (yeah, and i'm the moron). Whoever has been reading Dogoods comments, dont bother responding anymore. It's clear how Silence Dogood operates....hahahaha! Have a great day!
Kay Smith April 27, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Wow Jo. You really called that one. Either Dogood said to much or you really pushed his/her buttons cause they did show their "one sided" hand. Bravo. I was very pleased with the outcome with Radzik. Wish it didn't take so long and cost so much but that is typical. I have no feelings about this man either way but what he did was wrong and our children suffered. No amount of excuses or double talk from "close friends" or family will change the facts, (although I will admit, I think it's Radzik too, to much info for any close frend). He cheated, they all cheated. He shouldn't go down alone so I hope there will be more to follow. Especially Crowe. Good catch again Jo.
Lucy April 27, 2013 at 10:40 PM
I agree Jo, this is Radzik, or his brother.. facts are facts. Who the hell would be jealous of him.. please. I just feel bad for those kids who could not get the help they needed because of their scores and for Dogwood to say the SPED kids just past in their on..PLEASE LET'S BE HONEST.. "IT'S IMPOSSIBLE" JUST LIKE THE SPED TEACHER MRS. NETTA SAID. I am a special teacher and so many of these children can not remember what was done 20 min. earlier.
Karm April 28, 2013 at 12:34 AM
"If you knew about where these charges of cheating stemmed from and by who (since we now know who did it) you would see that the person who started this, started this because she hated Radzik." Who? I was under the impression the state found the wrong to right erasures in routine checks. Maybe someone lead them to check into Radzik and then they discovered his cheating. And how does Radzik have over 20 years "in teaching?" Going to school is not "in teaching," and he's in his early 30's.
NeverMind April 28, 2013 at 12:53 AM
wow, u hit the nail on the head with that one!! i guess u didn't hear. he was a realtor for ReMax for a short time while he was suspended.
Silence Dogood April 28, 2013 at 12:56 AM
Ahh just when I thought you couldnt be any more ignorant you come up with this hahaha. Never did I say I was not a friend of the family. Lets start with the easy one there Karm. "In teaching" meaning having to do with teaching since his start at the BOE when he was 17. Done. The reason the whole thing was brought up was because of a specific person calling and complaining about "what she saw." She knows her own name so no need to go and say it. Lets just say, she is part of the, "I hate John Radzik (or more likely I am jealous of John Radzik) lunch group. Now to my good friend Jo. No I am not a teacher nor am I John Radzik. Believe me this district could not afford me. When I referenced seeing the lesson plans it was in person outside of a school setting where he was explaining to a passing parent the strategy he used to teach their child. They needed to know because they were so impressed by how he finally helped his child after several other teachers had failed. I would like you to know though, that the child you are referring to as impossible to pass is a child that was seen by me and believe me when I tell you my medical opinion means a hell of a lot more than that teacher Linda Netta. And under direct questioning, Linda Netta explained that she was not an expert in the field. So there goes that arguement too. Everytime you want to give me your "opinions," I will dismiss and disprove them with facts. Thanks though. Have a great weekend.
NotInKansasAnymore April 28, 2013 at 03:42 AM
You should try to start telling the truth Nodogood then your stories wouldn't be so contradictory. You were familar with his wonderful lesson plans because you overheard a parent praising him on the wonderful job he was doing, then you said in another lie, I mean comment, that you subbed for him and saw his lesson plans executed to a tee. Then you say you don't work for the district they can't afford you yet you're in the lunch room at the school aware of some I hate Radzik club. An honest person will always have just ONE story.It's called THE TRUTH. Also, a few comments ago you acted as if I had commented on an inappropriate relationship between the principal and superintendent. I never said that. Not that I didn't hear that too was being swept under the bed I mean rug. You're letting alot of cats out of the bag! For someone who doesn't work for the district or that school you sure know alot of their names, lunchroom antics, parents in the yard, lesson plans, etc. Then you reference your "medical opinion" Oh please, now your a doctor? lol. You do realize what a moron you sound like don't you? Especially when you say " He was not found guilty of cheating. He was not found guily of changing answers (WHICH OF COURSE HE DIDN'T NEED TO CUZ HE ALREADY GAVE THEM ALL THE CORRECT ONES!) He was found guilty of Conduct unbecoming of a teacher! LOL That charge sounds soooo much better! You're a hoot!
Silence Dogood April 28, 2013 at 05:05 AM
Start telling the truth? Its bad that you dont realize that I have been telling the truth the whole time. Is it that you are in denial or perhaps you just cant tell what is fact and what isnt? Maybe if you had a teacher like Radzik, you would be able to. HAHAH. As far as my comments about his lesson plans, yes I have subbed in the district in the past but I do not work for the district. Perhaps if you knew anything about the education system in Woodbridge you would know that subs do not work for the district but rather an independent company. haha. uneducated. haha. Again I will address your ignorance. Knowing that there is a group of retired teachers that go out to lunch and call themselves the Hate John Radzik group has nothing to do with the lunchroom at the school. Would you like me to hold you hand a little more and walk you through more details? Yes, I do know alot about the district and so would you if you didnt pop out of the woodworks this one time to join the bandwagon. Yes my medical opinion means more than hers but again you overlook the only important detail where she stated she was not an expert, the exact opposite of the commenter before haha. Geeze I might as well become a teacher after having to correct every comment you morons are making. HA
Silence Dogood April 28, 2013 at 05:57 AM
Here is what I am going to do. I will present all of the facts, and just the facts and you can read them or not, comment or not but at the end of the day, I really dont give two shits about your opinion. Facts:~Stephanie Kleckan stated 3 seperate times under direct questioning by the OFAC investigators that absolutely nothing happened, no cheating etc.~Mark Filoramo stated 3 seperate times under direct questioning by the OFAC investigators that absolutely nothing happened, no cheating etc. ~Kim Deruski, testified that absolutely nothing happened including no cheating, seeing the test early etc.~Gina Spears, The hallway monitor outside of Radzik room testified that absolutely no cheating went on and that Mr Radzik did not give answers to children before during or after the test ~Barbara McCormick testified she overhear a story between a student and teacher stating that Mr Radzik helped the student cheat (the teacher it was told to refused to testify sighting it was untrue) (Barbara McCormick is also best friends with Lisa Sivillos EX FIANCES AUNT, Bone to pick?) ~Linda Netta testified that it was impossible for a specific student to pass ( under questioning about her expertise in the field she responded by saying she was not an expert) ~Kleckan admitted that she cheated on the state test not one year but two years in a row ~Filoramo admitted that he cheated on the state test ~After making a deal with the district Kleckan and Filoramo changed their story and were rehired.
Silence Dogood April 28, 2013 at 06:00 AM
~Radzik was cleared of charges of tapping on desks to give children answers ~Radzik was cleared of charges of giving children answers ~Radzik was cleared of charges of having the test earlier/later than he should have ~Radzik was charged with conduct unbecoming of a teacher due to his excessive test prep throughout the year. I mean this wholeheartedly, Shouldhavestayedinkansas, Joblow, HopekarmabitesyouintheassKarm: May everything that you deserve happen to you. :)
Silence Dogood April 28, 2013 at 06:01 AM
He still is a realtor for ReMax and is doing phenomenally well, no surprise
Silence Dogood April 28, 2013 at 06:04 AM
it must really grind on you to know that his pension is intact and he will be keeping it along with the fact that he making more money now as a realtor than he did as a teacher hahaha
Tom Maras April 28, 2013 at 11:23 AM
@Silence Dogwood Was Mr. Radzik represented by legal counsel at his BOE and more importantly, his hearing(s) with the state? Does he have the right to appeal and, if so, to whom and in what time frame? Can he sue in Superior court? Has the state or the BOE indicated whether he will maintain his pension?
NotInKansasAnymore April 28, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Thank you silence. Everything I deserve is happening by watching these cheating liars fal. HAHAHA. I am sure he is a wonderful salesman. I coulndn't care any less about his pension but am THRILLED to know he won't be UNBECOMING around children anymore. HAHAHA. And of course you sub. I've seen the bunch that come from there. Well, thise who don't know cheat, I mean teach.
Jo April 28, 2013 at 05:43 PM
Kansas, you make great points and like I said, don't bother with Dogood. He/she showed their colors. Whoever Dogood is, they cannot keep their story straight. One minute they know the family very well aka family friend then they say they aren't. Anybody can turn any story around to fit their idiotic way of thinking but no matter what is said, at the end of the day HE WAS FOUND GUILTY! Unfortunately Dogood can't deal with that. They can think they are stating "the facts" but in fact they are picking and choosing the parts of the accusations that best fit their messed up thought process because if you actually look a ALL the facts together it will once again prove HE IS GUILTY. Don't waste your time giving that idiot the opportunity to keep posting their foolish thoughts. It's so obvious to so many what Dogood is all about. Just pointing fingers which is typical. I guess pointing fingers and picking out the few facts that work for their cause are easier then actually looking in the mirror and admitting the truth. Glad he is doing well as a realtor, liers make great sales people. He can brag all he wants about how great he is doing blah blah blah but the truth of the matter is he should be humiliated! Just like Crowe being placed as a principal. They should b embarrassed and ashamed of themselves. We know the truth, the state proved the truth and this district did the right thing by cutting a cheater loose. That's it! No matter what Dogood says.
Karm April 28, 2013 at 05:54 PM
17+"over 20 years in teaching"= over 37 Jo, you said it. I'm out.
Jo April 28, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Liars can't keep anything straight. Don't try to figure them out, just let them dig their own grave.
helen durling April 29, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Did your child score "Advanced Proficiency"? Then went to 4th grade where the teacher would not give answers and asked her to use the skills she was taught in 3rd grade, and couldn't perform. Maybe he was a great teacher sometime in his 9 years of teaching, but messed up big time this time around.
cheat buster April 30, 2013 at 02:00 AM
Silence Dogood, how do you know what went on in the court room unless you were there? If you were there, then you are most likely his wife, mother, sister (if he has one) or a fellow teacher who supported and covered up for him. I also think you might need to check your spelling, since a few words have been incorrectly spelled. Some of your statements really amaze me. It might be a good idea to reread the OFAC report with an open mind, not one that is trying to protect a loved one. You gave this away when you stated you have watched him write his lesson plans. You really believe in his innocence, which might be a good thing since you both live in a fantasy world. We teach our children to accept responsibility for our own actions, so maybe it is time you pull your heads out of the sand and face the truth.
cheat buster April 30, 2013 at 11:29 AM
Found this on the forum, I think it explains the pension rule in favor of the citizens of NJ. This isn't over yet. If you read the capitalized section Silence Dogood, you will realize the misconduct done by your loved one can result in not receiving his pension. As far as that goes, it includes administrators also! Rules for pension forfeiture In NJ public employee pensions can be denied or revoked for the following reasons: The board of trustees of any State or locally-administered pension fund or retirement system is authorized to order the forfeiture of all or part of the pension or retirement benefit of any member of the fund or system for MISCONDUCT OCCURING DURING THE MEMBER'S PUBLIC SERVICE WHICH RENDERS THE MEMBER'S SERVICE OR PART THEREOF DISHONORABLE.Also, public officers or employees convicted of certain crimes involving or touching their office or employment face mandatory forfeiture of pension and retirement benefits. Contributions are considered part of the employee's salary and not part of the pension benefit. A state, county or local employer participating in a pension fund or retirement system would be responsible for reimbursement to the pension fund or retirement system of all pension costs incurred by the pension fund or retirement system following any settlement agreement between the employer and an employee that provides for the employer not to pursue any civil or criminal charges or an action for misconduct against the employee.
Jo May 01, 2013 at 10:35 AM
What about his teachers license? I think that's what he should lose. If they take his pension I feel that is well deserved but whats more important is that he should NOT be allowed to teach. Someone who made his cheating so obvious doesn't learn, they just do a better job covering it up next time.
Silence Dogood May 01, 2013 at 09:23 PM
Radzik already has a supervisor position in another district hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah
NotInKansasAnymore May 01, 2013 at 10:41 PM
I doubt that
Jo May 02, 2013 at 01:33 AM
There is something seriously wrong with you! He works at Remax making loads of money, he just lost his job days ago and "the man" already has a supervisor position. OMG! How is the weather in your world? Please stop, your really making this worse for him (if that's possible). You may think you are defending him but you are actually making him look like a fool, or should I say an even bigger fool!
Milania May 02, 2013 at 03:15 AM
I don't even live in the Woodbridge area and I heard about this jerk!!! No one will hire him, just google his name and the first thing that comes up is his cheating!!! His teaching career is over...hopefully he won't scam ppl on their mortgages!!
Jo May 02, 2013 at 11:07 AM
Whoever is interested in seeing ALL the facts just go to http://www.nj.gov/education/legal/teachnj/2013/apr/147-13.pdf. It's all there in black and white. Happy reading.
NotInKansasAnymore May 03, 2013 at 10:22 PM
Hey silence....tell Mr Radzik if his Realtor / Supervisor job (s) don't pan out he may still be able to get a job in Woodbridge. I heard the marijuana facility will be open in September.


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