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Schools scramble to stop cheating scandals
Washington Times ^ | August 2, 2011 | Ben Wolfgang

Posted on 08/03/2011 9:34:57 AM PDT by Presbyterian Reporter

In the wake of school cheating scandals across the country, several states are racing to implement new testing protocols before classes resume.

In New York, Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. created a task force last month to review all aspects of student assessment.

"The Commissioner will be announcing a series of measures to ensure the integrity of our testing system before our students return to school in September," New York State Education Department spokesman Jonathan Burman said in a statement Monday.

Specific measures haven't been announced, but state officials said they want to avoid problems that have plagued school systems in Atlanta, the District of Columbia and Philadelphia, where teachers are suspected of erasing wrong answers on standardized tests and replacing them with the right ones, all to make it appear that students were performing better than they actually were.

Education specialists say the scandals are largely driven by the high stakes attached to the tests. After the implementation of the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act, schools can be labeled as "failing" if test scores don't improve, leading some teachers and administrators to take matters into their own hands.

Atlanta became the poster child for such corruption after a recent government probe found that 44 schools and 178 teachers and principals had been faking test scores for the past decade. Dozens of schools in Pennsylvania, including many in the Philadelphia area, are under investigation. In the District, the inspector general for the federal Education Department is looking into suspected cheating, and D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson has welcomed the review.

Similar cheating charges have confronted schools in Dallas, Baltimore, Houston and elsewhere.

More than 30 New Jersey schools remain under investigation for falsifying test scores, and state officials are taking a variety of steps to prevent cheating.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cheating; schools
I looked at the results for my own community and there are two high schools with very suspect results. One school went from a "D" grade to an "A" grade. That is statistically impossible without teachers cheating.

Check the results in your own community.

1 posted on 08/03/2011 9:35:01 AM PDT by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: Presbyterian Reporter

Same thing happened to a high school in Port Royal, MS. Went from a ‘1’ (lowest) to a ‘5’ (highest) in one year with a new principal.


2 posted on 08/03/2011 9:44:59 AM PDT by struggle
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To: Presbyterian Reporter
Schools scramble to stop cheating scandals

Note the inadvertent honesty in the headline - stop the scandals, not the cheating.

3 posted on 08/03/2011 9:46:51 AM PDT by from occupied ga (your own government is your most dangerous enemy)
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To: struggle

A representative of the state and or federal government should be present at all testing for NCLB


4 posted on 08/03/2011 9:48:20 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama = Epic Fail)
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To: Presbyterian Reporter

. . . closing the barn door . . .


5 posted on 08/03/2011 9:48:36 AM PDT by YHAOS (you betcha!)
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To: Presbyterian Reporter

Prison time, forfeiture of test score based bonuses, and loss of all retirement benefits will make this sort of behavior stop instantly.

While I hate the phrase “for the children”, this crime really does penalize the kids the most. A student really only has one chance to learn, and that window isn’t but a few years long. If the “educators” are spending their time in the lounge altering test sheets, the kids are being short changed on their instruction.

Get rid of all the wiz-bang electronic toys and go back to the 3 “R”s.


6 posted on 08/03/2011 9:52:24 AM PDT by wrench
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To: TexasFreeper2009

Well, from my 6 years experience as a teacher administering standardized exams, I’ve never seen a state rep. at a test, but the admin. have always said that they “could” come.

The point where this stuff happens is in the classroom (teachers pointing at answers, nodding, shaking heads), and when the tests get put in the vault (they get taken out and erased - but this can be found out by erasure analysis).


7 posted on 08/03/2011 9:54:30 AM PDT by struggle
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To: Presbyterian Reporter

Education specialists say the scandals are largely driven by the high stakes attached to the tests. After the implementation of the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act, schools can be labeled as “failing” if test scores don’t improve, leading some teachers and administrators to take matters into their own hands.

- - - - - - - - -

I’m surprised the WT gave the ‘its Bush’s fault’ line.

To the *cough* educators - here is a concept: TRY ACTUALLY TEACHING!!!!!


8 posted on 08/03/2011 9:55:26 AM PDT by reaganaut (Ex-Mormon, now Christian - "I once was lost, but now am found; was blind but now I see")
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To: Presbyterian Reporter

Where did you find this information I would like to check local but I can’t find it.


9 posted on 08/03/2011 9:56:42 AM PDT by shoff (Cuomo is going to change the NY state motto from Excelsior to elixir (cause we bought it)
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To: from occupied ga

“Note the inadvertent honesty in the headline - stop the scandals, not the cheating.”

####

First thing that struck me as well.

That said, this whole No Child Left Behind merit-based “improvement” construct is a scam of the first order. Kind of like the sham “graduation rates” of certain NCAA athletic programs(See Georgetown University ThugBall program),

The one student aspect that has the closest correlation with academic performance is a quality home life, with parentS (plural emphasis) actively involved.

Not money.

Not “good schools”.

Not class size.

Not “quality” teachers.


10 posted on 08/03/2011 9:56:56 AM PDT by EyeGuy (2012: When the Levee Breaks)
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To: Presbyterian Reporter

How do we check the scores?


11 posted on 08/03/2011 10:00:29 AM PDT by reaganaut (Ex-Mormon, now Christian - "I once was lost, but now am found; was blind but now I see")
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To: struggle

Any teacher and or administrator caught doing this should be immediately fired and lose their pension. Any school where this is widespread should be closed immediately with all the teachers and administrators fired.

I think they should be prosecuted for fraud too.


12 posted on 08/03/2011 10:02:11 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama = Epic Fail)
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To: struggle
I worked for an insurance company many years ago that had a 2 week state licensing school.Every day of that 2 weeks was used taking practice state tests.
the entire class consisted of learning what the different types of questions were and how to recognize the correct answer.No actual training was given in state insurance laws or regulations.
I explain this,because when the state of Ohio started testing our schools,I saw the exact same thing occur in my childrens classrooms.Only instead of spending 2 weeks,the teachers would spend an entire month twice a school year teaching my children how to pass the 2 tests given each year.Out of a 9 month school year,2 months were wasted taking practice tests on how to recognize the correct answers,but NO actual learning or teaching occurred.I saw this happen in all 3 school districts within my area.This was in Athens county Ohio,and happened in Nelsonville ,Athens,and Alexander school districts.When I would confront the teachers,principals,and superintendent,I was told it was the only way they could meet the states requirements.
I feel this is cheating of an even worse type than simply erasing answers,as it cheated my children of 2 months of valuable learning time.It also caused burn out of students when all they do for 2 months is take practice tests.
13 posted on 08/03/2011 10:02:22 AM PDT by Craftmore
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To: shoff

Our school district is county-wide and the test result information is posted on the school district website for all years from 2001.

If your school district does not post the data on their website, give the Superintendent a phone call and scare the hell out of him or her that you are demanding to see the results for each school for the past ten years.


14 posted on 08/03/2011 10:02:52 AM PDT by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: reaganaut

Go to your school district website to see if they post the results. Otherwise, place a phone call to the superintendent and demand to get the results for each school for the last ten years.


15 posted on 08/03/2011 10:04:49 AM PDT by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: struggle
Well, from my 6 years experience as a teacher administering standardized exams, I’ve never seen a state rep. at a test, but the admin. have always said that they “could” come. The point where this stuff happens is in the classroom (teachers pointing at answers, nodding, shaking heads), and when the tests get put in the vault (they get taken out and erased - but this can be found out by erasure analysis).

One solution might be to bar any teacher from proctoring the testing of her own students. On test day, the teachers get put on buses and randomly sent to schools in neighboring school districts, with assignment made on testing day to preclude making quick deals with known counterparts.

16 posted on 08/03/2011 10:05:49 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (When you've only heard lies your entire life, the truth sounds insane.)
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To: PapaBear3625

One solution might be to bar any teacher from proctoring the testing of her own students.


I think it will require poll watchers from each political party to stop cheating. On test day each classroom would be monitored by a Republican and a Democrat.

And then the finished tests would be placed into a tamper proof box.

The Teachers Union has too much at stake here to trust them in anything.


17 posted on 08/03/2011 10:10:30 AM PDT by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: Presbyterian Reporter
I wish I could make Freepers understand how bad these tests are, how disconnected they are from the kids we teach and the curriculum that is imposed upon us. The people who make these tests and the people who impose our curriculum are not the same people, folks. We get this curriculum wherein we are instructed... ORDERED... to have the kids read Maya Angelou, bell hooks, Gary Soto, Amy Tan... contemporary writers from a politically correct roster who tend to write fairly simply, in short sentences...

Then the kids get the state tests with excerpts from Call of the Wild and Anne of Green Gables. You can just imagine these kids' reactions. They have no idea what the heck they are looking at.

As a teacher, my options are: don't teach the curriculum (and get into trouble), help them with the test (and get into trouble), or let them fail (and get into trouble.) It's miserable.

18 posted on 08/03/2011 10:11:02 AM PDT by A_perfect_lady (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: PapaBear3625

In my experience, students are organized alphabetically and assigned to classrooms in that manner. Teacher’s don’t proctor most of the kids that they teach.


19 posted on 08/03/2011 10:13:39 AM PDT by struggle
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To: All

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20 posted on 08/03/2011 10:14:12 AM PDT by DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis (Want to make $$$? It's easy! Use FR as a platform to pimp your blog for hits!!!)
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To: A_perfect_lady

“””We get this curriculum wherein we are instructed... ORDERED... to have the kids read Maya Angelou, bell hooks, Gary Soto, Amy Tan... contemporary writers from a politically correct roster who tend to write fairly simply, in short sentences...
Then the kids get the state tests with excerpts from Call of the Wild and Anne of Green Gables. You can just imagine these kids’ reactions. They have no idea what the heck they are looking at.””


Your complaint is with the teacher’s union who is deciding to teach the kids some politcal correct garbage without taking into account they will be tested on classical literature.

So if the kids fail, then the voters need to remove the teachers and the administration from the school.

I think it is great the kids are being tested on classical literature.

Failure to teach classical literature is reason to remove those in power from their positions.


21 posted on 08/03/2011 10:17:04 AM PDT by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: Presbyterian Reporter

Thanks, I will.


22 posted on 08/03/2011 10:18:56 AM PDT by reaganaut (Ex-Mormon, now Christian - "I once was lost, but now am found; was blind but now I see")
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To: Presbyterian Reporter
Yes, I know who is to blame. I was a Freeper for years before I became a teacher. I'm just explaining that this is the current situation: one group mandates the curriculum, an entirely different bunch make the tests.

For myself, I stuff as much as I can in and around the blocks of the curriculum: Hemingway, Jane Austen, Francis Hodgson Burnett... some of those books I had to buy with my own money because the schools don't buy that sort of thing. I just wish more Freepers really understood what a teacher is up against.

23 posted on 08/03/2011 10:23:55 AM PDT by A_perfect_lady (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: from occupied ga

It probably should read “hide the scandals and cheating”.


24 posted on 08/03/2011 10:24:49 AM PDT by RC2
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To: EyeGuy
The one student aspect that has the closest correlation with academic performance is a quality home life, with parentS (plural emphasis) actively involved.

That's right. Let me tell you, Asian students in my district are sitting at the same desks with the same books and the same teachers as the Hispanic ones. The difference is what happens when they go home. The Hispanic kids, by and large, go home, throw their backpack on the bed that mama made for them, grab some hot cheetos and settle down in front of the television while mama makes dinner and waits on them hand and foot. Especially the little boys. The little girls help with dinner. If you bring the parent into school to tell them the child is doing badly, they either shake their heads sadly and helplessly, or argue that you are being mean to their darling.

But Asian parents? Let me tell you, you could take a Sharpie and write an F on their kid's forehead and send the kid home. Asian mom will pull out a knife and tell the kid "You have 2 weeks turn that to B or I cut head off!!"

(Okay, mild exaggeration. Some stereotyping. But I'm tellin' ya...)

25 posted on 08/03/2011 10:28:47 AM PDT by A_perfect_lady (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: A_perfect_lady

I believe most FReepers understand that the good teachers are up against the teacher union mentality of the majority.

How we get the voters energized to remove the teachers union mentality from the school system is another issue and I do not have an answer.

The high school two blocks from my house received “D” grades from 2004 to 2009 and a “C” grade in 2010. 2011 grades have not been released yet. And this is at a brand new high school that was totally rebuilt in 2002. Even with this dismal result I do not hear peep from the voters about the fact the kids are functionally illiterate when they graduate.


26 posted on 08/03/2011 10:34:48 AM PDT by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: Presbyterian Reporter

Thanks, I was not looking local. After some hunting I found it on our local school site. They seem to be in line and no jumps out of range.


27 posted on 08/03/2011 10:49:29 AM PDT by shoff (Cuomo is going to change the NY state motto from Excelsior to elixir (cause we bought it)
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To: RC2
It probably should read “hide the scandals and cheating”.

The superintendent of Atlanta Schools, Beverly Hall, is being given a pass by the media (most likely because she's black) on the problems in her administration so far (she retired to avoid the mess). She claims that she didn't know about it and should not be held accountable for it. I can't help thinking that when the results came out favorable (before they were aware that the positive results were due to cheating) that the press lauded her with fulsome praise. Seems to be a dual standard for blacks around here. They're given lavish praise for the slightest and most mediocre accomplishments, and ignored when they commit malfeasance.

Example from an article on the cheating in the Atlanta paper

Embattled Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall announced Saturday that she will step down in June, ending a remarkable 11-year tenure that won praise nationally...
The paper had to get at least one little kiss on her a$$ even covering the cheating scandal.
28 posted on 08/03/2011 10:54:50 AM PDT by from occupied ga (your own government is your most dangerous enemy)
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To: struggle
In my experience, students are organized alphabetically and assigned to classrooms in that manner. Teacher’s don’t proctor most of the kids that they teach.

But if teachers proctor students from the same school, then there is pressure to cheat coming from the principal and superintendent (as in Atlanta).

29 posted on 08/03/2011 10:59:30 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (When you've only heard lies your entire life, the truth sounds insane.)
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To: TexasFreeper2009
I think they should be prosecuted for fraud too.

Absolutely. It is fraud. In fact, when reading about these stories, you see the classic 'fraud triangle.' Motivation/pressure, justification, opportunity. The pressure involved in the schools' funding and their own jobs provides the motivation. The fact that they can tell themselves that they are only doing it so that the increased or continued funding can help the students, and they'll quit as soon as the scores really do come up is the justification. The stupid idea of giving the teachers access to completed tests is the opportunity. There's not much a local system can do about the first two, since the federal government has provided the motivation and the lack of morals pervading today's society, particularly the left, where most 'educators' are, provides the justification. However, there is no excuse for the school system to provide these teachers with the opportunity. I mean, in Atlanta, they were taking them home and having parties where they changed the answers. Why in the world were they allowed to walk home with them? Ideally, a third party would administer the tests. However, the costs involved may not allow that, but other controls could be used, such as each student sealing his test after completion in a way that would prevent tampering.

30 posted on 08/03/2011 11:00:13 AM PDT by tnlibertarian (Don't mend SS, end it.)
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To: from occupied ga
stop the scandals, not the cheating

'During today's in-service, we highly commend the breakout session titled "Detection-proof methods for increasing those scores".'

31 posted on 08/03/2011 11:20:46 AM PDT by Migraine (Diversity is great... ...until it happens to YOU.)
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To: Migraine
we highly commend the breakout session titled "Detection-proof methods for increasing those scores"

LOL

32 posted on 08/03/2011 11:22:41 AM PDT by from occupied ga (your own government is your most dangerous enemy)
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To: A_perfect_lady

Freepers miss a lot. They catch more than the population at large but when it comes to some issues it is more ideology than understanding.


33 posted on 08/03/2011 12:04:27 PM PDT by arrogantsob (Why do They hate her so much?)
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To: Presbyterian Reporter
Now that we have federalized the education system throughout the country there are no good solutions.

Trust the local schools to do the right thing and they will cheat.

Bring in the feds and it costs more money and prevents the local schools from making their own decisions.

We should get rid of this 'No Child Left Behind' nonsense, get rid of the Dept of Education, and return the control of schools back to the states and localities.

Over time kids from bad schools will by-and-large not get into the best universities or get employment with the best companies.

Let the market decide who gets to make a living and who gets to go on welfare.

34 posted on 08/03/2011 6:19:19 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: PapaBear3625

>>But if teachers proctor students from the same school, then there is pressure to cheat coming from the principal and superintendent (as in Atlanta).

Well it depends. A lot of the really crappy inner-city schools have high turnover so you have a lot of non-tenured teachers who will do anything not to be fired through attrition (proof of being warned thrice), which is something that the admin can do very quickly through observation/duty schedules/class covering/parental complaints/etc. When a teacher becomes tenured (3-5 years) then the admin has to show about a billion steps taken to get the teacher on the right track.

Something tells me that these were newbie teachers right out of school that were willing to do anything to keep their jobs.


35 posted on 08/05/2011 6:20:56 PM PDT by struggle
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To: struggle
When a teacher becomes tenured (3-5 years) then the admin has to show about a billion steps taken to get the teacher on the right track.

Georgia eliminated teacher tenure in 2000

36 posted on 08/05/2011 6:33:31 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (When you've only heard lies your entire life, the truth sounds insane.)
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To: PapaBear3625

>>When a teacher becomes tenured (3-5 years) then the admin has to show about a billion steps taken to get the teacher on the right track.

>>Georgia eliminated teacher tenure in 2000

That explains it.


37 posted on 08/05/2011 6:55:16 PM PDT by struggle
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