Education News in Brief

Georgia Districts Scrutinizing Testing Practices

By The Associated Press — January 05, 2010 1 min read

An audit that showed 5th grade math exams were altered after the fact at four public schools in Georgia has had districts across the state scrambling to tighten rules for administering tests before they start again in the spring.

In the wake of the scathing report last June, districts have cracked down on where answer sheets are stored once they are completed by students and now require the sheets be turned in to collection warehouses immediately, rather than being kept on campus for several days. Other districts have increased training for principals and teachers who are in charge of testing.

“You don’t just sit there and give materials,” said Kathy Augustine, the deputy superintendent for curriculum and instruction for the Atlanta schools, named in the state audit as one of the districts where results were changed. “You walk hallways. If you see any irregularity, you report it immediately.”

The audit did not specify who corrected wrong answers at schools in Atlanta, DeKalb County, Fulton County, and Glynn County. But one DeKalb County administrator has pleaded guilty to tampering with the tests, and about a dozen educators have lost their state teaching licenses for up to two years as a result.

The audit was only the beginning of state officials’ monitoring of test-taking in schools.

The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, which produced the audit, is doing a statewide analysis of test results for every student in grades 1-8 who took a standardized test in Georgia in spring 2009. The report, set to be released this spring, could reveal more cheating or other testing problems.

Kathleen Mathers, the executive director of the office, said it’s the first time the state has taken a comprehensive look at testing, particularly focusing on whether schools are responding to performance pressures exerted by the federal No Child Left Behind Act’s standards by changing test answers or allowing students to cheat. She said the new audit is part of Georgia’s bid to win federal Race to the Top stimulus funding, which requires that states evaluate educators partly on the basis of students’ test performance.

We want to make sure performance data we have is accurate, Ms. Mathers said. But the bottom line is its the right thing to do for kids.

A version of this article appeared in the January 06, 2010 edition of Education Week as Georgia Districts Scrutinizing Testing Practices

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

7796 - Director of EAL (K-12) - August '21
Dubai, UAE
GEMS Education
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read