Dishonesty on the part of adults in schools

1 Apr

Ronda Cook reports in the Atlanta Journal Consttition article, APS officials to begin surrendering about the recent example of adults cheating to produce higher test scores:

Thirty-five former Atlanta public school employees were named in a 65-count indictment returned Friday alleging racketeering, false statements and writings and other charges related to alleged cheating on standardized test scores and the covering up of those actions.

Retired Atlanta school Superintendent Beverly Hall, some of her top deputies, principals, teachers and a secretary have until Tuesday to turn themselves in. Once processed in the jail, they will have to go before a magistrate, where bond is discussed. The grand jury said Hall’s bond should be set at $7.5 million, but the judge can set a lesser amount. http://www.ajc.com/news/news/aps-officials-to-begin-surrendering/nW72c/

See, Standardized Test Cheating http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/standardized-test-cheating

Moi wrote about cheating teachers in ACT to assess college readiness for 3rd-10th Grades:

There have been a number of cheating scandals over the past couple of years. Benjamin Herold has a riveting blog post at The Notebook which describes itself as “An independent voice for parents, educators, students, and friends of Philadelphia Public Schools.” In the post, Confession of A Cheating Teacher Herold reports:

She said she knows she’s a good teacher.

But she still helped her students cheat.

What I did was wrong, but I don’t feel guilty about it,” said a veteran Philadelphia English teacher who shared her story with the Notebook/NewsWorks.

During a series of recent interviews, the teacher said she regularly provided prohibited assistance on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) exams to 11th graders at a city neighborhood high school. At various times, she said, she gave the students definitions for unfamiliar words, discussed with students reading passages they didn’t understand, and commented on their writing samples.

On a few occasions, she said, she even pointed them to the correct answers on difficult questions.

They’d have a hard time, and I’d break it down for them,” said the teacher matter-of-factly.

Such actions are possible grounds for termination. As a result, the Notebook/NewsWorks agreed to protect her identity.

The teacher came forward following the recent publication of a 2009 report that identified dozens of schools across Pennsylvania and Philadelphia that had statistically suspicious test results. Though her school was not among those flagged, she claims that adult cheating there was “rampant.”

The Notebook/NewsWorks is also withholding the name of her former school. because the details of her account have been only partially corroborated.

But her story seems worth telling.

During multiple conversations with the Notebook/NewsWorks, both on the phone and in person, the teacher provided a detailed, consistent account of her own actions to abet cheating. Her compelling personal testimonial highlighted frequently shared concerns about the conditions that high-stakes testing have created in urban public schools. The Notebook and NewsWorks believe that her confession sheds important light on the recent spate of cheating scandals across the country….

She said she knows she’s a good teacher.

But she still helped her students cheat.

What I did was wrong, but I don’t feel guilty about it,” said a veteran Philadelphia English teacher who shared her story with the Notebook/NewsWorks.

During a series of recent interviews, the teacher said she regularly provided prohibited assistance on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) exams to 11th graders at a city neighborhood high school. At various times, she said, she gave the students definitions for unfamiliar words, discussed with students reading passages they didn’t understand, and commented on their writing samples.

On a few occasions, she said, she even pointed them to the correct answers on difficult questions.

They’d have a hard time, and I’d break it down for them,” said the teacher matter-of-factly.

Such actions are possible grounds for termination. As a result, the Notebook/NewsWorks agreed to protect her identity.

The teacher came forward following the recent publication of a 2009 report that identified dozens of schools across Pennsylvania and Philadelphia that had statistically suspicious test results. Though her school was not among those flagged, she claims that adult cheating there was “rampant.”

The Notebook/NewsWorks is also withholding the name of her former school. because the details of her account have been only partially corroborated.

But her story seems worth telling.

During multiple conversations with the Notebook/NewsWorks, both on the phone and in person, the teacher provided a detailed, consistent account of her own actions to abet cheating. Her compelling personal testimonial highlighted frequently shared concerns about the conditions that high-stakes testing have created in urban public schools. The Notebook and NewsWorks believe that her confession sheds important light on the recent spate of cheating scandals across the country.

One might ask what the confessions of a cheating teacher have to do with the announcement by ACT that they will begin offering a series of assessments to measure skills needed in high school and college. Although, it is in the early stage of development, one could question whether this assessment will turn into a high-stakes test with pressures on students, teachers, and schools. Admittedly, it is early. https://drwilda.com/2012/07/04/act-to-assess-college-readiness-for-3rd-10th-grades/

Valerie Strauss reports in the Washington Post article, 50 ways adults in schools ‘cheat’ on standardized tests:

Pre-Testing
Fail to store test materials securely
Encourage teachers to view test forms before they are administered
Teach to the test by ignoring subjects not on exam
Drill students on actual test items
Share test items on Internet before administration
Practice on copies of previously administered “secure” tests
Exclude likely low-scorers from enrolling in school
Hold-back low scorers from tested grade
“Leap-frog” promote some students over tested grade
Transfer likely low-scoring students to charter schools with no required tests
Push likely low scorers out of school or enroll them in GED programs
Falsify student identification numbers so low scorers are not assigned to correct demographic group
Urge low-scoring students to be absent on test day
Leave test materials out so students can see them before exam

During Testing
Let high-scorers take tests for others
Overlook “cheat sheets” students bring into classroom
Post hints (e.g. formulas, lists, etc) on walls or whiteboard
Write answers on black/white board, then erase before supervisor arrives
Allow students to look up information on web with electronic devices
Allow calculator use where prohibited
Ignore test-takers copying or sharing answers with each other
Permit students to go to restroom in groups
Shout out correct answers
Use thumbs up/thumbs down signals to indicate right and wrong responses
Tell students to “double check” erroneous responses
Give students notes with correct answers
Read “silent reading” passages out loud
Encourage students who have completed sections to work on others
Allow extra time to complete test
Leave classroom unattended during test
Warn staff if test security monitors are in school
Refuse to allow test security personnel access to testing rooms
Cover doors and windows of testing rooms to prevent monitoring
Give accommodations to students who didn’t officially request them

Post-Testing
Allow students to “make up” portions of the exam they failed to complete
Invite staff to “clean up” answer sheets before transmittal to scoring company
Permit teachers to score own students’ tests
Fill in answers on items left blank
Re-score borderline exams to “find points” on constructed response items
Erase erroneous responses and insert correct ones
Provide false demographic information for test takers to assign them to wrong categories
Fail to store completed answer sheets securely
Destroy answer sheets from low-scoring students
Report low scorers as having been absent on testing day
Share content with educators/students who have not yet taken the test
Fail to perform data forensics on unusual score gains
Ignore “flagged” results from erasure analysis
Refuse to interview personnel with potential knowledge of improper practices
Threaten discipline against testing impropriety whistle blowers
Fire staff who persist in raising questions
Fabricate test security documentation for state education department investigators
Lie to law enforcement personnel                                     http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/03/31/50-ways-adults-in-schools-cheat-on-standardized-tests/

Here is the press release from Fair Test:

FairTest Press Release: Standardized Exam Cheating In 37 States And D.C.; New Report Shows Widespread Test Score Corruption

Submitted by fairtest on March 27, 2013 – 11:32pm

for further information:
Bob Schaeffer (239) 395-6773
cell  (239) 699-0468

for immediate release, Thursday, March 28, 2013

STANDARDIZED EXAM CHEATING CONFIRMED IN 37 STATES AND D.C.;
NEW REPORT SHOWS WIDESPREAD TEST SCORE CORRUPTION

As an Atlanta grand jury considers indictments against former top school officials in a test cheating scandal and the annual wave of high-stakes standardized exams begins across the nation, a new survey reports confirmed cases of test score manipulation in at least 37 states and Washington, D.C. in the past four academic years. The analysis by the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) documents more than 50 ways schools improperly inflated their scores during that period.

Across the U.S., strategies that boost scores without improving learning — including outright cheating, narrow teaching to the test and pushing out low-scoring students — are widespread,” said FairTest Public Education Director Bob Schaeffer. “These corrupt practices are inevitable consequences of the politically mandated overuse and misuse of high-stakes exams.”

Among the ways FairTest found test scores have been manipulated in communities such as Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, New York City, Philadelphia and the District of Columbia:

  • Encourage teachers to view upcoming test forms before they are administered.
  • Exclude likely low-scorers from enrolling in school.
  • Drill students on actual upcoming test items.
  • Use thumbs-up/thumbs-down signals to indicate right and wrong responses.
  • Erase erroneous responses and insert correct ones.
  • Report low-scorers as having been absent on testing day.

Schaeffer continued, “The solution to the school test cheating problem is not simply stepped up enforcement. Instead, testing misuses must end because they cheat the public out of accurate data about public school quality at the same time they cheat many students out of a high-quality education.”

The cheating explosion is one of the many reasons resistance to high-stakes testing is sweeping the nation,” Schaeffer concluded.

– – 3 0 – –

Attached:    

Attachment Size
CheatingReportsList.pdf 113.99 KB
Cheating-50WaysSchoolsManipulateTestScores.pdf 171.74 KB

Moi wrote in The military mirrors society:

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Despite the fact that those in high places are routinely outed for lapses in judgment and behavior unbecoming the office or position they have been entrusted with, many continue to feign surprise at the lapse. Really, many are feigning the surprise at the stupidity of the seemingly bright and often brilliant folk who now have to explain to those close and the public about the stupidity which brought their lives to ruin. Some how the “devil made me do it” does not quite fully explain the hubris. The hubris comes from a society and culture where ME is all that counts and there are no eternals. There is only what exists in this moment. http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/the-military-mirrors-society/

Related:

Cheating in schools goes high-tech https://drwilda.com/2011/12/21/cheating-in-schools-goes-high-tech/

What , if anything, do education tests mean? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/27/what-if-anything-do-education-tests-mean/

Suing to get a better high school transcript after cheating incident

https://drwilda.com/tag/parents-who-sued-school-over-sons-punishment-for-cheating-receive-hate-messages/

Where information leads to Hope. ©                  Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                      http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                             http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                                      https://drwilda.com/

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