Monday, June 14, 2010

Under Pressure, Teachers Tamper With Test Scores

A cover story in yesterday's NYT on teachers tampering with test scores to avoid being fired or earn bonuses.  This underscores a critically important issue: with increased (and much needed) accountability, comes more pressure to cheat, so there needs to be a lot of vigilance in this area:

Of all the forms of academic cheating, none may be as startling as educators tampering with children's standardized tests. But investigations in Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, Virginia and elsewhere this year have pointed to cheating by educators. Experts say the phenomenon is increasing as the stakes over standardized testing ratchet higher — including, most recently, taking student progress on tests into consideration in teachers' performance reviews.

Colorado passed a sweeping law last month making teachers' tenure dependent on test results, and nearly a dozen other states have introduced plans to evaluate teachers partly on scores. Many school districts already link teachers' bonuses to student improvement on state assessments. Houston decided this year to use the data to identify experienced teachers for dismissal, and New York City will use it to make tenure decisions on novice teachers.


Cheat Sheet

Under Pressure, Teachers Tamper With Test Scores


Published: June 10, 2010

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