Garland, S. (2011). High-stakes tests and cheating: An inevitable combination? The Hechinger Report.

Retrieved from Summary: An interview conducted with Robert Tobias, director of the Center for Research on Teaching and Learning at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, and former head of assessment and accountability for the New York City schools, discussed the influence of high stakes testing on cheating. The Hechinger Report talked with Tobias trying to understand why the former commonly leads to the latter. In other words, if high stakes testing inevitably leads to cheating, in what ways can this phenomenon be avoided? Tobias suggests an accountability system that has multiple components with high-stakes testing as one of them. He implies that this method for teacher judgment of performance and effectiveness is well-rounded and creates a different atmosphere and school culture while reducing the incentive to cheat. Tobias alludes to a non-exclusive use of high stakes testing for accountability. In other words, teachers need not be held accountable or have their fate determined almost exclusively by a high-stakes test. This is supported by him saying, “I don’t think accountability is a bad thing, I think you have to have accountability – but as long as the accountability is going to be so heavily dominated by testing, and that coupled with targets and goals that in many cases are unrealistic, that encourages cheating.” Richmond, E. (2013). When educators cheat: High stakes testing has caused some schools to cross the line. Scholastic. Retrieved from Summary: Preventing cheating has been a challenging job for Sue Daellenbach, assistant superintendent of assessment and accountability for the Clark County School District in Nevada. She upholds the zero tolerance policy that requires every student to be tested in the same environment and conditions throughout the district, the fifth largest in the nation. With stakes rising and putting new weight on teacher evaluation and grant money, the challenge to protect the integrity of standardized tests has become a tough one for Daellenbach. In the article, in states that Robert Schaeffer, a spokesman for FairTest, a non-profit organization that lobbies against the overuse of high-stakes tests, advocates that such tests undermine the ethical quality of teaching and learning. Additionally, the federal government’s Race to the Top competition has only “exacerbated the pressure because states must allow test scores to be used in teacher evaluations in order to qualify for the grants.” Schaeffer asserts that this system is constructed to encourage misbehavior because “people’s livelihood and reputations depend on these test scores. Overall, cheating requires more effort than simply doing the work without assistance. The challenge for educators is to withhold such integrity and to know that cheating is not in their best interest, nor the district in which they work. Thus, it is important for schools to establish “an

ethical bar for behavior, and combine that with supervision to make sure everyone—including teachers and staff—are following the rules.” This article discusses this and offers suggestions to increase test security. Schaeffer, R. (2012). High-Stakes Testing Cheats Children Out of a Quality Education. FairTest. Retrieved from Summary: Following testing scandals in 2012, FairTest was led to believe that such ‘scandals are the predictable result of over-reliance on test scores.” A FairTest examiner wrote the conclusion of Donald Campbell, a renowned social scientist, that “[W]hen test scores become the goal of the teaching process; they both lose their value as indicators of educational status and distort the educational process in undesirable ways.” Though an old problem, the consequences behind high-stakes testing are becoming more noticeable. This includes but is not limited to cheating on score reporting documents, teaching to the test, and undermining school climate. The author suggests that all these things ultimately cheat students out of a valuable education, especially the vulnerable ones. To the extent that test prepping causes vulnerable students to lose interests, become discipline issues in the classroom, and possibly corrupt in the real world leading them to the prison pipeline. However, the author indirectly mentions that “a real solution requires a comprehensive overhaul of federal, state and local testing requirements, more policing and better after-the-fact investigations will not.”

Amos, D., Toppo, G., & Upton, J. (2011, March 17)When tests seem too hard to believe. USA TODAY. Retrieved from: Summary: A teacher in Ohio, Steve Mueller, seemed to have an immaculate sense about what his students should study to prepare for their state test. In 2010, seven of his students recognized questions on the test. It had been determined that Mueller had been guilty of previewing tests and exposing students to the questions prior to the test. This is one of several cases this article discusses. The article addresses that not only students inform officials about being exposed to questions, but investigators found when they looked closely scores from Mueller had been fluctuated throughout the years. Gains and losses are typical of a pattern uncovered by an investigation in six states (Colombia, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, and Arizona) the District of Columbia. The newspaper identified 1,610 anomalies in what analysts suggest as statistically rare perhaps suspect scores. It is suggested that large year to year jumps in test scores should raise red flags. However, school reformers such as KIPP founder Mike Feinberg argue that surges can occur without cheating. Increasingly high stakes exist to the tests required under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. Although most school districts retain the power to hire and fire

teachers, 10 states now require that student scores be the main criterion in teacher evaluations. Some states and districts reward educators for raising scores; a teacher may earn a bonus of as much as $25,000 in Washington, D.C., if his or her students' scores improved. NCLB also puts principals' jobs on the line if students' scores don't improve. Most of public schools closed since 2005 were cited for having low test scores. The lack of accountability exists since there is the reluctance to investigate spikes in scores. This is especially obvious at schools that have been struggling to meet the requirements of NCLB.

Resmovits J. (2012, Feb. 29) Teacher Cheating Scandals Spur Obama Administration Call To Address Growing Problem. Huffington Post. Retrieved from Summary: The occurrence of teachers and administrators cheating on standardized tests has become a major issue in education. The article recognizes that the search for cheating standards have begun in Washington, D.C. " President Obama administration's is making an effort to compile best practices to prevent and detect "testing irregularities.” According to Joanne Weiss, chief of staff at the U.S. Education Department,"As D.C. was pursuing its investigations into allegations of cheating, there was virtually no library of best practices to rely on, and no standards of testing integrity for them to rely on," Weiss said. "So they were really flying blind. She asked whether the department would step in to help states and districts (Resmovits 2012)." Recommendations that are currently in draft form, were provided to The Huffington Post and will soon be available for public comment online. According to the document, the recommendations will suggest that states develop cheating policies and assign officials to execute these policies. Training is emphasized and making the consequences of cheating clear. The guidelines also suggest that states vigilantly collect data from test sites, including photos of answers written on kids' arms or, on digital exams, screenshots of student activity. Whistleblowers should be protected, and alleged cheaters should be entitled to due process, the document suggests.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful