Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Another one

The state investigation into Dougherty County, Georgia around cheating on exams is back. This is the same county that, after its own investigation, found no evidence of cheating. From the report (via Get Schooled):

Hundreds of school children were harmed by extensive cheating in the Dougherty County School System. In 11 schools, 18 educators admitted to cheating. We found cheating on the 2009 CRCT in all of the schools we examined. A total of 49 educators were involved in some form of misconduct or failure to perform their duty with regard to this test.
While we did not find that Superintendent Sally Whatley or her senior staff knew that crimes or other misconduct were occurring, they should have known and were ultimately responsible for accurately testing and assessing students in this system. In that duty, they failed. The 2009 erasure analysis, and other evidence, suggests that there were far more educators involved in cheating, but a fair analysis of the facts did not allow us to sufficiently establish the identity of every participant.
The statistics, and the individual student data, leave little room for any other reasonable explanation, save for cheating. For example, the percentage of flagged classrooms for DCSS is ten times higher than the state average.
A few things of note: the state investigation team was not from the education department. It was a former state attorney general, a former DA, and a special investigator. They were granted broad powers by the state. The intention of the state from the beginning was to make the results public (as was done in Atlanta), as well as hold accountable those adults who so remarkably failed in the public trust.
Not how it's been handled everywhere, but a credit to the state of Georgia.

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