Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cheating on tests

Update: Washington DC Erasure Investigation

Posted For

Sandra in Brevard

Facts have not emerged on the D.C.'s Inspector General regarding the erasures detected on standardized tests at nearly half of D.C.'s schools, but the investigation continues.
However, the USA Today, which initially reported the serious irregularities, reports the resignation of Wayne Ryan. No explanation for the resignation is available. Ryan was promoted to instructional superintendent last year. Previously, he was principal of Noyes Educational Campus from 2001-2010. Standardized test scores were high at the school; however, nearly 3/4 of Noyes classes were flagged for erasures from 2008-2010.
"....the school had been touted by former chancellor Michelle Rhee as a model of school reform. He was lauded for dramatic increases in test scores, which earned the school a federal Blue Ribbon award in 2009.

The school's staff won thousands of dollars in bonuses because of the improvement.

Ryan and the school were the centerpiece of the school system's staff recruitment ads in 2008 and 2009."
Read more....

UPDATE: Reporting on continuing Atlanta investigations
A staff member of Internal Investigations claims to have been ordered by the Superintend to destroy evidence.
Lawyers for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained a copy of the letter and related documents, which came to light in a criminal investigation of cheating by teachers and school administrators on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test. A team of special investigators, appointed last August when state officials found the district’s own inquiry inadequate, is expected to report its findings to Gov. Nathan Deal this month, which could result in prosecutions of district officials. The investigators declined to comment Tuesday.
Read more....
While I was glancing through the news this morning, I happened to notice this... in the Baltimore Sun...  It fit right in with todays report from Sandra.

Cheating, tampering found in city schools

Officials to announce extensive violations Thursday  June 23, 2011|By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun

Widespread cheating on state assessment tests has been uncovered at two Baltimore elementary schools, state and district officials are expected to announce today.

Investigators with the state Department of Education found that Maryland School Assessment scores were compromised at Abbottston Elementary in 2009 and at Fort Worthington Elementary in 2009 and 2010, according to city schools CEO Andrés Alonso.

The disclosure marks the second time in little more than a year that city school officials have had to acknowledge cheating at schools recognized nationally as models of successful urban education, including one visited by the first lady and the other by the U.S. secretary of education.

In interviews Wednesday with The Baltimore Sun, Alonso and state Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick said they will release details of an 18-month investigation that found tampering with test booklets and an unusually high number of erasure marks, with answers changed from wrong to right

Why is it all the shinning examples of how well all this proposed reform will work all seem to be badly tarnished when you look closely



  1. If you missed it, Grumpy Educators reported on Florida's recent problems with possible "cheating."

    I predict a new business opportunity - testing forensic companies, as part of the $500 billion education sector.

  2. How about a monitoring service to go with it.. Armed guards make sure there's no cheating during the test... As the students complete the test the monitoring service takes pocession of their answer sheets, and and provide secure transportation to the grading company.

  3. My friend was a Procter at Croton Elementary this year. She had to write down if someone coughed, sneezed, dropped a pencil, went the the bathroom etc. The pressure is so great on these little kids two of them threw up.

    The pressure is also on the teachers and administrators. When your pocketbook is in jeopardy people cheat.

  4. Fishy... the experts tell us this won't force teachers to teach to the test...

    The experts haven't said much about schools and entire systems trying to beat the system

  5. There is ALWAYS a way to beat the system. I wrote the answers on my arm!

  6. The little kids who threw up have company with kids all over the nation. When has pressure been put on elementary children to this level? Parents are saying they believe in accountability and testing; but they don't believe in classrooms turned into testing mills. I stand with the parents.

    We need to regain balance. The dollars thrown at this is outrageous; but it's good for test security business.

    Grumpy - you are right, the so-called education reform experts are rather quiet on school and system cheating. But the results of investigations going on might end up in criminal action.

    Oh my Fishy, writing the answers on your arm? Today such a thing would probably get into your records, shared with other agencies and researchers and follow you into adulthood.

  7. Fishy; Sandra's right, if Sec of Ed Duncan gets his way the dreaded permanent record will become very dreaded, very personal, very permanent and very real


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