Friday, August 06, 2010

“How long and how far do you look for every last person who potentially may have done something wrong?”

Atlanta test-cheating probe fails to satisfy |

Investigators chosen by Atlanta’s school system gave only cursory attention to evidence suggesting extensive cheating on standardized tests in more than half the 58 schools they examined.

Seventeen schools suspected of some of the most widespread cheating were barely investigated and, consequently, avoided recommendations for sanctions. Another 14 schools where state officials voiced a moderate concern about cheating received similar treatment. The investigators disregarded testing irregularities in hundreds of Atlanta classrooms.

...Commission members defend their work. They say they focused mostly on schools highlighted in a statistical analysis performed by a consulting firm they hired.

But a review of the commission’s report and interviews with education officials and testing experts suggest that the investigation fell far short of unearthing the scope of a cheating scandal that calls into doubt a decade of higher test scores and other academic progress by Atlanta students.
This article is by AJC reporters Alan Judd and Heather Vogell
 instead of Kristina Torres, whose byline I've seen on most of this thread. Good article; keep it alive!
At Deerwood Academy, for instance, the state flagged almost half of 90 classrooms. The Atlanta commission’s investigators noted unusual numbers of erasures and 100 percent pass rates on two tests given by one teacher. But the investigators interviewed just four people at Deerwood, cleared the entire staff and submitted a report that omitted the fact that an earlier investigation found strong evidence of cheating on a CRCT retest there in the summer of 2008.

At other schools, investigators spoke to as few as two staff members. In the case of one recently closed school, they spoke to none.
Just because the school is closed doesn't mean the teachers and administrators vanished. Smart money says they're still employed by APS.

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