A 17-month investigation into possible cheating on standardized tests at Washington, D.C., public schools focused on only one school and did not expand to any other school with rising test scores and suspiciously high rates of wrong answers changed to right ones.In a report issued Wednesday, city investigators said they found no reason to probe more than one elementary school, Noyes Education Campus, whose principal resigned in the wake of a USA TODAY story in March 2011. Investigators said they limited the probe because they believed news coverage of the scandal would limit future cheating — and because schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson handed over “no additional evidence” of cheating or “investigative leads to pursue.”
D.C.’s Office of the Inspector General said it considered expanding the probe to other schools, but concluded that “once the erasure issue came to light, any improper practices that may have occurred in the past would diminish.”
Even the Washington Post’s Jay Matthews, who has been known to fawn over MichelleRhee more than Bambi’s mother, wasn’t buying this story.
Many D.C. educators have convinced me that the wrong-to-right erasures at many schools, averaging more than 10 per child in some classes, could not be the work of the test takers. Students almost never correct their answers on such tests, since they have no effect on their grades. The answers had to have been changed, several teachers said, by school officials after the tests were handed in, since those officials would benefit from high scores.