Dougherty School CRCT results investigated - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty School CRCT results investigated

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –The Dougherty County School system is under investigation  for possible cheating, specifically changing students' answers on the Criterion Referenced Competency Test.

An audit by the Governor's Office of Student Achievement uncovered evidence that incorrect answers were changed on tests after students turned them in.

Governor Sonny Perdue ordered the audit after cheating was found in 2009 summer re-tests given to students across the state.

This latest audit found problems in Dougherty County's test results. Primarily the number of erasure marks changing incorrect answers to correct ones.

The Governor's Office of Student Achievement will lay out its investigation results when the state school board meets Wednesday.

The Governor's Office Director of Communication Bert Brantley said "We are going to work very closely hopefully with the system to drill down into these numbers and really see if we can come up with some explanations. And really find out what happened so it's not repeated."

The audit uncovered erasure marks on Dougherty's CRCT's that were possibly made after students turned in their tests.

The GOSA will report what it found but not point fingers at who may have changed test answers.

They do plan, however, to make recommendations to ensure it doesn't continue to happen.

Brantley said "When the tests aren't valid. When there are concerns about those tests, you end up harming the student." And that's really the sad thing."

While changing test answers isn't a crime right now, that may soon change.

Governor Sonny Perdue supports legislation that bases teacher's pay on test scores and the governor says the test's integrity must be beyond reproach.

So the law would make cheating a crime.

Brantley said " Just making sure that everybody understands that any falsifying of state documents, any tampering with tests. Anything like that, is a clear crime under the Georgia code."

The C.R.C.T. is given to students from first to eighth grade every spring, with testing in reading language arts and math. Those test results are used to decide if students will advance in the third, fifth, and 8th grades.

Dougherty County School Superintendent Dr. Sally Whatley and School Board Chairman David Maschke declined comment today saying they don't have enough information to comment.

The Georgia State School board meeting will be held in Atlanta Wednesday.

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