Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Teachers Behaving Badly Department: Cheating On State Tests

Once again, the teaching profession has given itself a black eye. This time, it's teachers cheating on the administration of state-mandated tests in order to inflate students' test scores that have done the damage. Here are some recent examples of this horrific problem:

  • The Houston, Texas public school system is investigating allegations of wide-spread cheating in the administration of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test.
  • A teacher in Indiana "helped" students mark the right answer on tests by tapping them on the shoulder when they marked the wrong answer.
  • Mississippi invalidated test scores at nine schools due to cheating.
  • Nine Arizona districts discarded tests scores after it was learned that teachers had given students extra time.

School systems across the country are implementing a variety of anti-cheating measures. Some of these include hiring proctors to wander from classroom to classroom for the purpose of ensuring that teachers are not cheating, contracting with data-analysis firms in order to check students' answer sheets for evidence of changed responses, and creating multiple versions of the same examination with the aim of foiling such shenanigans as giving answers to an entire group of students.

As we have said before on these pages, when teachers cheat on these tests, it denies both parents and children the valuable feedback necessary to assess each student's strengths as well as areas of concern that are in need of extra attention.

Dishonest teachers insult all the hard-working educators in our Nation that are striving so earnestly to help their pupils succeed.

Here at the 'Wonks, we believe that this is the type of thing that causes the public to become increasingly resentful when teachers lobby their legislatures and governing boards for increased compensation and fringe benefits. An honest days wage for an honest day's work implies just that.

An honest day's work.

Latest Posts