When test scores matter, some educators cheat, reports the New York Times.
“Educators feel that their schools’ reputation, their livelihoods, their psychic meaning in life is at stake,” said Robert Schaeffer, public education director for FairTest, a nonprofit group critical of standardized testing. “That ends up pushing more and more of them over the line.”
Experts estimate one to three percent of teachers (and principals) give students an advance look at questions, give test takers the answers, change incorrect answers or otherwise cheat to make their schools look good or to earn performance bonuses.
The rise of performance pay could lead to a rise in cheating.
Update: The Times is making excuses for a small number of cheaters to attack testing, writes Richard Colvin on HechingerEd. “When students cheat, we don’t say that testing is to blame.”