Cheaters prosper

When teachers help students during state tests, they’re likely to get away with cheating, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Teachers have helped students cheat on California’s high-stakes achievement tests — or blundered badly enough to compromise their validity — in at least 123 public schools since 2004, a Chronicle review of documents shows.

Schools admitted outright cheating in about two-thirds of the cases. And while the number reporting problems represents a small fraction of the state’s 9,468 public schools, some experts think the practice of cooking the test results is more widespread.

That’s because the California Department of Education relies on schools to come forward voluntarily, and to investigate themselves when a potential problem is flagged.

The state suspects cheating when a large number of wrong answers are erased and replaced with correct answers but other forms of cheating are easier to get away with.

Half of undergrads admit to serious cheating, writes Charlotte Allen in Opinion Journal.

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  1. I’m astonished that students are still being promoted to the next grade in spite of their lack of mastery. Who would have predicted that this kind of testing wasn’t the solution to our education woes?

    I wonder if there is a reason why the College Board doesn’t hand out SATs to classroom teachers to administer to their own students?

  2. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Never let someone audit themselves.

  3. GradSchoolMom says:

    Society is putting a very high value on grades and test scores. They are being touted as the one single measurement of success. A school’s funding is connected to their scores. Teachers are implying to students that those with high GPAs and test scores will live a happy and easy life and those without are destined to shine the successful student’s shoes. People in America are believing that their happiness and success is a right and no longer something that they need to work for. If success is their right and the only thing holding them back is a test score, they can easily validate their right to cheat.

    I know I tend to have a sarcastic view on many things, but when I read articles on teens with perfect GPAs, test scores and attendance, rather than being impressed I often question their integrity and their mental health. I would hesitate to hire someone with perfect scores. I just don’t believe that perfect people are all that stable.

  4. Mark Roulo says:

    but when I read articles on teens with perfect GPAs, test scores…

    It is worth keeping in mind that with the new (post-1995) SAT scoring one can score a perfect 800 on a sub-section (math or verbal), while still making mistakes.

    -Mark Roulo

  5. Walter E. Wallis says:

    No one likes to have his work graded, yet in some ways we all have that happen, from the engineer whose bridge collapses to the actor who misses the Oscar. Come up with another objective measure of education value added and we’ll look at it.

  6. Small/ charter schools seem to be disproportionately represented among the cheaters.