Date: Mar 30, 2013 2:07 PM
Author: Jerry P. Becker
Subject: Standardized Exam Cheating In 37 States and D.C

From FairTest Wednesday, March 27, 2013. See
FairTest Press Release: Standardized Exam Cheating In 37 States And
D.C.; New Report Shows Widespread Test Score Corruption ... for
immediate release, Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bob Schaeffer (239) 395-6773 or cell (239) 699-0468


As an Atlanta grand jury considers indictments against former top
school officials in a test cheating scandal and the annual wave of
high-stakes standardized exams begins across the nation, a new survey
reports confirmed cases of test score manipulation in at least 37
states and Washington, D.C. in the past four academic years. The
analysis by the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest)
documents more than 50 ways schools improperly inflated their scores
during that period.

"Across the U.S., strategies that boost scores without improving
learning -- including outright cheating, narrow teaching to the test
and pushing out low-scoring students -- are widespread," said
FairTest Public Education Director Bob Schaeffer. "These corrupt
practices are inevitable consequences of the politically mandated
overuse and misuse of high-stakes exams."

Among the ways FairTest found test scores have been manipulated in
communities such as Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit, El Paso,
Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, New York City, Philadelphia and the
District of Columbia:

. Encourage teachers to view upcoming test forms before they are
. Exclude likely low-scorers from enrolling in school.
. Drill students on actual upcoming test items.
. Use thumbs-up/thumbs-down signals to indicate right and wrong responses.
. Erase erroneous responses and insert correct ones.
. Report low-scorers as having been absent on testing day.

Schaeffer continued, "The solution to the school test cheating
problem is not simply stepped up enforcement. Instead, testing
misuses must end because they cheat the public out of accurate data
about public school quality at the same time they cheat many students
out of a high-quality education."

"The cheating explosion is one of the many reasons resistance to
high-stakes testing is sweeping the nation," Schaeffer concluded.
Confirmed Cases of Test-Cheating (2008-2012 School Years) -- See
50+ Ways Schools "Cheat" on Testing --- See
The Case Against High Stakes Testing --- See . You can see a wealth
of resources regarding high stakes test:

. FairTest Fact Sheets,

. Additional resources created by FairTest, ARN and others

. numerous articles related to high stakes testing

. The harmful impact on curriculum and instruction

. Widening the gap: How high-stakes testing exacerbates inequities
between wealthy and poor communities; white and students of color

. Dropouts, grade retention and high-stakes testing - what you should know

. The harmful impact on bilingual education students and English
language learners

. Testing Special Needs Students: Inclusion into flawed assessment
policies and exams does more harm than good

. Pitfalls of relying on tests to measure and reward teachers and schools

. Why so called "value-added" testing schemes don't add value

. Why Federally Mandated Testing won't work to improve education in
the nation

. Testing and Young Children

. Scoring, reporting and other errors made by testing companies in
high-stakes testing situations

. Analysis of the content and questions of various tests:

. Student voices on testing

. High-stakes and other "incentives" may not motivate, will
discourage many students

. Test pressure results in physical and psychological harms for s

. High-stakes testing impedes local decision making

. Videos (numerous)

Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244