Investigations ordered amid cheating suspicions - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Investigations ordered amid cheating suspicions

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Dr. Elizabeth Ragsdale, State Board Of Education Dr. Elizabeth Ragsdale, State Board Of Education

By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – A state review of test score data has found that 20 percent of Georgia elementary and middle schools had possible cheating on standardized tests last year.

It shows an unusually high number of erasures on exams, eight schools on the state's severe list are in Dougherty County.

State school board members Thursday called for investigations into Georgia schools that face accusations of tampering with student answers on last spring's Criterion-Referenced Competency tests.

"The state board supports the Governor's Office of Student Achievement is in the process of investigating now," said Dr. Elizabeth Ragsdale, State Board Of Education.

A report from the Governor's Office of Student Achievement looked at the every CRCT taken in Georgia last spring for grades one to 8, about three million exams.

"All we know is that there has been an unusually large number of erasures, I think everyone is concerned that the source of these erasures be determined," said Ragsdale.

Eight schools are termed severe concern in Dougherty County, meaning 25 percent or more of the classrooms in those schools had a high rate of changed answers.

"An this point no one is charging anyone of wrongdoing" said Ragsdale, "I'm concerned that we don't have a rush to judgement".

As the probe into the high number of changed answers continues, Ragsdale says she hopes it doesn't become a distraction.

The Governor's Office of Student Achievement is asking the state to put monitors in those schools with a high number of answer changes for testing this spring.

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