Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm not saying the AJC's nationwide 7-month investigation into school cheating is completebullshit — I'm just saying there are some 'irregularities'

Some interesting questions raised about the Atlanta Journal Constitution study I reported on in my last email, which concluded that a shockingly large number of schools and school districts across the country are likely cheating on tests:


On Sunday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a series of stories suggesting that, according to its own seven-month investigation, "196 of the nation's 3,125 largest school districts had a high degree of suspicious results on standardized test scores, which could point to instances of cheating."

I'm about to tell you, in a very long and involved way, two things about that statement:

1. That's technically true, and there are probably instances of cheating flagged within that 196 number, but that number is most likely tremendously overstated and the data used to arrive at it is deeply flawed.

2. The paper knew this and decided to publish anyway, because it didn't have the time, resources, or desire to dive deeper into these numbers.

I say this based on conversations I've had with school administrators, detailed responses by the districts themselves, and an expert who advised the paper and told it specifically why these numbers were not only wrong, but irresponsible to publish. In fact, I'm more certain of my conclusions than you should be of the notion the AJC's report indicates widespread cheating on the level the story asserts.

Let's just say I want to start a conversation about what these irregularities show.


I'm not saying the AJC's nationwide 7-month investigation into school cheating is completebullshit — I'm just saying there are some 'irregularities'

Posted by Eric Celeste on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 2:21 PM

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