Texas officials are investigating test scores in the state’s largest school districts after a newspaper’s report suggested the schools’ scores could be the result of cheating.
The Texas Education Agency will review the test booklets and interview school officials as part of the investigation of three elementary schools in Houston and one in Dallas.
Officials in those districts requested the reviews after a series of articles in The Dallas Morning News found that test scores at the schools appeared to be suspicious.
In each case, scores at one grade level were dramatically higher than other grades at each school, suggesting that educators helped the students on the exam, or completed the tests for them. More than 200 schools had test scores with similar patterns, the newspaper reported in December.
In addition to the state investigation, the Houston Independent School District has created an independent counsel’s office that will be charged with investigating academic fraud, Abelardo Saavedra, the superintendent of the 209,000-student district, announced last week.
A version of this article appeared in the January 12, 2005 edition of Education Week