Michigan officials are investigating numerous instances of potential cheating on state tests administered earlier this year. Among those cases are virtually identical responses to a question on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program test of 5th grade science. The question and some of the responses are reprinted below.
The parking lot at Roberto’s school was enlarged. Now, every time it rains Roberto notices that the playground next to the parking lot floods. He thinks the parking lot causes the flooding.
How could Roberto gather evidence to test his hypothesis?
Answer this item in your answer booklet. Nothing written in the space below will be scored.
The answers above read as follows: “When it does not rain the playground stays dry, but when it rains the parking lot floods the playground.”
SOURCE: Michigan Department of the Treasury
A version of this article appeared in the June 20, 2001 edition of Education Week as Test Answers Prompt Suspicion