BELLEVILLE (WWJ/AP) – The state is looking into an apparent cheating scandal involving several classrooms at a local school district.

Officials say five staffers from the Van Buren Public Schools district have been placed on leave after a state investigation found students at one elementary school performed so far above the state average on standardized tests that it was deemed suspicious.

The 2015 Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress scores at Savage Elementary School in Belleville were also invalidated.

Parents say their children studied hard and they support the suspended educators. The state describes the M-STEP results as “highly unlikely” anomalies.

Superintendent Michael Van Tassel discussed the issue in a letter on the district’s website, saying there were “testing improprieties.” Click here to read the letter (.pdf format).

The state Department of Education says it found anomalies in test results for third and fourth grades in math as well as English.

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