The [Washington, DC] Office of the State Superintendent released results Friday from its annual audit of standardized testing in the city. It says “critical violations” of testing integrity were found at seven public schools and four charter schools. Test results from those schools will be thrown out.
The audit was released on the same day it was revealed that city school officials knew in early 2009 about possible widespread cheating. An internal memo shows that an analyst found 191 teachers at 70 schools may have erased their students’ wrong answers and filled in the right ones.
In March 2011, USA Today reported that from 2006 to 2010, the Crosby S. Noyes Education Campus in Northeast D.C. and various other schools saw dramatic jumps in scores on citywide standardized tests. But according to documents it got from the school system, tests given to students there and at other schools showed abnormally high erasure rates, raising the prospect that teachers and administrators were correcting wrong answers in hopes of producing higher test scores.
Despite claims by some former administrators that cheating was more widespread, investigations by the D.C. Inspector General and Department of Education said it was relatively limited, seemingly sparing Rhee and now-Chancellor Kaya Henderson from the type of pressure (and consequences) seen recently in Atlanta.
But according to the newly uncovered memo—which USA Today also got a hold of—cheating dating back to 2008 may well involve many more teachers, administrators and schools than originally thought. Additionally, Rhee didn’t do enough to investigate it at the time.