Wednesday, March 29, 2006

From The Didn't Pay Attention In Class Files

What could these two unnamed Maryland teachers have been thinking?
Two fourth-grade teachers have been removed from their classrooms after Carroll County school officials found that the pair had given copies of questions from a state achievement test to other teachers and pupils before the exam.

A teacher at Linton Springs Elementary School in Sykesville acknowledged that she had taken notes from the fourth-grade Maryland State Assessment reading exam last year while working at another school, Carroll schools Superintendent Charles Ecker said Monday.

The Linton Springs teacher also shared the worksheet with a teacher at Mount Airy Elementary, who passed it along to other fourth-grade Mount Airy teachers who did not know the questions had been copied from the MSA test, Ecker said. After they noticed similarities between the worksheets and this year's test, the Mount Airy teachers alerted the principal.

The results of the tests are used to determine whether schools have made adequate yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind law. Schools face sanctions if they repeatedly fail to progress.

Ecker did not identify the two teachers and wouldn't say how long they would be out of the classroom because the disciplinary action taken against them is a personnel matter.

"I am disappointed and saddened that these two teachers violated the trust and confidence of their fellow teachers, their students, the parents, and the general community," Ecker said.

Experts said the incident is a sign of the growing pressure on teachers and schools to do well on the assessments. Some worry that education is being compromised as a result of that pressure.
I know that public school educators all over the country are under pressure to raise test scores. Setting aside the obvious ethical questions, I have to ask this one:
How on earth did they think that they were going to get away with it?
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