Here is yet another story on the CRCT investigation suggesting that districts are sticking with their story that the unusual number of erasures from wrong to right are simply a result of kids going back and changing answers and teachers cleaning up stray marks.
I still want to know why systems without flagged schools, including Cobb and Gwinnett, don’t have all these stray marks and doodles. I just can’t buy the defense that students are taught different test-taking skills.
But I am open to being proven wrong.
According to the AJC, which is using the Open Records Act to obtain the reports being submitted to the state by systems:
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained 10 completed reports this week under Georgia’s Open Records Act. Those reports show that schools in several systems, including Appling, Savannah-Chatham and Clarke counties, pointed to suspicious erasure marks on state tests as being caused in part by test-taking strategies that included students double-checking work or making extra marks to eliminate answers.
Some systems, including Taliaferro County, found that teachers under supervision erased stray marks, including students’ doodles on answer sheets, but did not change answers. Some could not get in touch with teachers whose classrooms were flagged because of they had retired or left the system. At least one, Walton County, said it did not find violations but expected to put a letter of concern in a teacher’s file.
None of the 10 systems referred employees for test violations. The state is not releasing reports that include referrals because they are considered ongoing investigations.
According to a state report in February, 191 Georgia schools required investigation because they showed unusual patterns of erasures on the state’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests last spring. The tests, of students in first through eighth grade, help determine whether schools meet federal benchmarks.
In an update given a week ago, state officials said 22 of 34 systems statewide required to conduct investigations had turned in reports. Of them, the state expected five to refer 11 employees for testing violations, with possible sanctions ranging from a reprimand to loss of license.