AJC suggests Atlanta’s school cheating crisis just part of larger national scandal

Cheating our children: Suspicious school test scores across the nation is definitely worth a read.

From the piece:

Suspicious test scores in roughly 200 school districts resemble those that entangled Atlanta in the biggest cheating scandal in American history, an investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows.

The newspaper analyzed test results for 69,000 public schools and found high concentrations of suspect math or reading scores in school systems from coast to coast. The findings represent an unprecedented examination of the integrity of school testing.

The analysis doesn’t prove cheating. But it reveals that test scores in hundreds of cities followed a pattern that, in Atlanta, indicated cheating in multiple schools.

An example of the type of statistical anomalies that might suggest cheating occurred:

In Houston, for instance, test results for entire grades of students jumped two, three or more times the amount expected in one year, the analysis shows. When children moved to a new grade the next year, their scores plummeted — a finding that suggests the gains were not due to learning.

Now, there will always be some statistical outliers, some amazing confluences of chance, some incredibly hard work by teachers, but the data analysis suggests that the odds of some districts seeing such dramatic changes in scores were worse than one in a million.

Atlanta sure got beat up over the cheating scandal — in which administrators and teachers altered test scores — and now it sure likes other districts around the country engaged in a similar pattern.