Did expediency blot out the evidence in blue ribbon probe of CRCT cheating in APS and will the state object?

Was the Blue Ribbon commission’s clearance of so many APS schools in APS CRCT cheating probe authentic?

An AJC story today suggests expediency played a larger role than evidence in the commission’s focus on 12 schools with the worse profiles.

One of the problems now is that the commission received no admissions of cheating, although it found overwhelming and irrefutable statistical evidence of widespread cheating at 12 schools. (Even at those schools, there were some classrooms with no cheating, which makes me wonder about the dynamic at those schools when the honest teachers kept wondering why their colleagues down the hall had such great scores and yet their students didn’t seem any better prepared. I have talked to one such teacher and she said she could never understand  how her peers got such results.)

I will be interested to see how APS handles the teachers and administrators — and there were many more teachers referred by the commission for sanctions than administrators, suggesting this was a classroom to classroom practice rather than a schoolwide practice. If nobody is owning up to the test sheet cheating, what happens now?

In other states with cheating probes, few people lose their jobs for this reason: Knowing cheating went on is one thing; Pinpointing who cheated is another and far more difficult to prove.

According to the story:

Seventeen schools suspected of some of the most widespread cheating were barely investigated and, consequently, avoided recommendations for sanctions. Another 14 schools where state officials voiced a moderate concern about cheating received similar treatment. The investigators disregarded testing irregularities in hundreds of Atlanta classrooms.

A commission that studied questionable gains on the 2009 Criterion-Referenced Competency Test, or CRCT, reported this week that alleged cheating seemed to permeate just 12 Atlanta schools, rather than the 58 — more than half the schools in the district — state officials flagged last winter.

The commission recommended possible disciplinary action against 109 Atlanta Public Schools employees.

Commission members defend their work. They say they focused mostly on schools highlighted in a statistical analysis performed by a consulting firm they hired.

But a review of the commission’s report and interviews with education officials and testing experts suggest that the investigation fell far short of unearthing the scope of a cheating scandal that calls into doubt a decade of higher test scores and other academic progress by Atlanta students.

“Our expectation was all 58 [schools] would be rigorously and thoroughly investigated,” said Kathleen Mathers, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, which is overseeing the state’s review. The investigation should have continued, Mathers said, “until you’ve cleaned up the problem.”

In particular, the Atlanta commission did little to investigate 17 of the 43 schools where state officials had found excessive erasures on test papers in 25 percent to 51 percent of classrooms.

At Deerwood Academy, for instance, the state flagged almost half of 90 classrooms. The Atlanta commission’s investigators noted unusual numbers of erasures and 100 percent pass rates on two tests given by one teacher. But the investigators interviewed just four people at Deerwood, cleared the entire staff and submitted a report that omitted the fact that an earlier investigation found strong evidence of cheating on a CRCT retest there in the summer of 2008.

At other schools, investigators spoke to as few as two staff members. In the case of one recently closed school, they spoke to none.

Even strong statistical suggestions of cheating and specific allegations did not prompt additional inquiries.

At Humphries Elementary, for example, where the state had flagged nearly half the classrooms for examination, a staff member told investigators that CRCT administrators “cleaned up” test papers in the school auditorium. Yet investigators spoke to only three people at Humphries and reported no educators for possible transgressions.

Scrutiny of Atlanta’s scores on the CRCT, a key indicator of whether schools meet federal and state standards, began after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published analyses in 2008 and 2009 showing improbable increases in test scores at many schools in Atlanta and in other Georgia districts. In February, the state ordered Atlanta and 34 other districts to investigate schools found in its analysis to have excessive numbers of erasures on test papers.

The commission was appointed by the Atlanta Board of Education and populated by people with financial and civic ties to the district. By relying heavily on the work of its consultant, Caveon Test Security, the panel took an approach that seems to have conflicted with instructions from the state.

Instead of rigorously investigating all 58 schools, the commission gave a lower priority to 31 schools after Caveon reported that its own data analysis turned up fewer concerns than the state had reported.

Many of the 31, however, displayed the hallmarks of altered scores: classrooms or entire grades with suspicious erasures across multiple subject tests; classes with hundreds of erasures when only a few dozen might be expected; double-digit drops in 2010 test scores, under heavy scrutiny; and tips from other educators who suspected wrongdoing.

State officials are reviewing the report. So far, they aren’t happy with the results.

“I would not say I take everything Caveon says as the way it is,” Mathers said. “The state did an analysis, and we are confident in that analysis.”

51 comments Add your comment

redweather

August 5th, 2010
8:24 am

I wonder how forthcoming APS will have to be regarding the discipline of teachers and administrators. Maybe these will be handled as “personnel” matters and screened from public view?

You Asked

August 5th, 2010
8:28 am

Handling the cheating teachers as a personnel matter is appropriate just as it would be in any workplace where company policy has been broken. However, in this case there was also intent to defraud the district, state and their respective taxpayers so a criminal investigation and consequences wouldn’t be out of the question either.

I’m guessing that after a few warrants are passed out people will talk and the full scope of the cheating and who was leading the charge will make itself more clear.

redweather

August 5th, 2010
8:30 am

I would like to think some warrants are in the offing, but I won’t be holding my breath.

You Asked

August 5th, 2010
8:34 am

Another thought… This whole scandal is yet another demonstration of why overemphasis on standardized testing and scores is unhealthy. Metrics and measurement are good tools to indicate progress towards goals in any organization, but when the metrics become the end all be all of that organization something is lost and goals can be subverted in order to make the numbers work out right.

This does not excuse the ethics and honesty of the teachers who cheated but it is a warning that performance and accountability are not something that can be easily calculated based on only a few measurements. You get what you reward and if the reward is for scores rather than learning than you will get scores without learning.

Yes, measuring learning is complex and difficult at times but isn’t that why we pay administrators, District coordinators and the Department of Education experts their salaries?

Chris Murphy, Atlanta, GA

August 5th, 2010
8:42 am

Well, the fix was in, wasn’t it? What may happen, I think, is one of the accused teachers will sue when fired. They will be able to subpoena documents and quite possibly compel testimony (I’m not a lawyer, nor do play one on TV, or in the APS central office). Once some of that comes out, the new state AG (whoever that is) will be forced to undertake a criminal probe. All that will happen 2-3 years from now, and the criminal court cases will come out in about 5 years. Terrific.
Anyone know how to get a grand jury empanelled to investigate this? Probably has to be initiated by Fulton Cty. DA Paul Howard, right? No chance for that, we’ll have to work on getting him replaced at election time, another 2 years.
This state, this city, this county- could we just, now, replace the state motto with: “Thank God for Mississippi, or we’d be last in everything.”

Chris Murphy, Atlanta, GA

August 5th, 2010
8:45 am

Oh- and Thank You, Again, AJC! You all have done yeoman’s work on this issue, and this citizen, this taxpayer, this dad, thanks you from the bottom of his heart. We can’t fix what we don’t know about, and you have given us citizens powerful motive to get and stay involved.

Chris Murphy, Atlanta, GA

August 5th, 2010
8:52 am

One more time: although there may have been *some* teachers that had the opportunity to cheat, the more likely suspects are the administrators: they had access to the tests during off-hours. The teachers would have felt pressure, and the risk of a bonus of up to $2,000. But the administrators had their 6-figure salaries on the line. Who had the bigger motive to cheat? Who had opportunity to do so, in such extensive fashion?
Did the ‘researchers’ who did the statistical analyses graduate from GA schools? Just wondering.

Teacher&mom

August 5th, 2010
9:04 am

While it may be difficult to fire individual cheaters, it isn’t hard to fire district level personnel. Start with the district level testing coordinator. The testing coordinator is responsible for designing strong testing protocals to prevent cheating. While you can’t eliminate all cheating, you canhave a testing protocal that is very rigid. Then, if the testing protocal is not followed, you have grounds to either reprimand or fire someone. Very simple, very easy, and is already in place in most school districts in GA.

The next person that needs to go is Beverly Hall. Her legacy at APS will forever be tainted with this scandal. The only hope for APS is to start fresh with a new leader at the helm. Any future increases in test scores will be discounted.

Here’s an analogy: Does anyone still consider the baseball records of Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire to be authentic? If by some miracle, they could return to their glory days without the benefits of steroids, how many people would believe they did this without using steroids? The same is true for APS. How many people will ever believe any increase in test scores is authentic? Perhaps this can happen with new leadership, but it will never happen if Hall remains in place.

William Casey

August 5th, 2010
9:12 am

The extent of the cheating will eventually be revealed, though it will be too late to do much about it. All I can think of while reading of the APS cheating scandal is the famous question from the Watergate era: “What did the President know and when did he know it?”

An advocate for public education change & choice

August 5th, 2010
9:17 am

Now I recall how the BRC announced publication of the report intially and then a few days later announced an unspecified period of delay, which ultimately prompted the State BOE to force their hand to deliver it by Aug 2. I would suggest that expediency was huge factor in this case which because of its sheer scale required more time and resources to sufficiently investigate. I think the BRC should have produced a premilinary report on the dirty dozen worst offending schools and delayed a more comprehensive report later. I like the state pressured APS to produce something but I think they should have given them more time overall to ensure things were suffiently investigated. APS has WAAAYY more schools to review than the other districts sited!

As for the aftermath of the BRC’s report, I guess now all eyes are squarely on the Dr. Hall and the APS Board. With the report coming so close to the start of school there is little that can be immeidately done to build in additional controls or effectively deal with “personnel matters”. At the least I think some should be fired (as immediately as possible), which I’m sure will spawn some additional information to spew forth about what really was happening. In addition, I think the APS Board should compell Dr. Hall et al, to return a payback a prorated portion of their bonus which was based on false scores. Lastely the APS board should begin its search for a new superintendent now post haste! And what ever you do please don’t think of promoting from within.

An advocate for public education change & choice

August 5th, 2010
9:21 am

@ Teacher & Mom – Correct me if I’m wrong but don’t most standard GA teacher/principal contracts give districts the right to fire teachers for convience? This may cost the district some degree of severence if this clause is involked but better that than keep a bad apple. With so many teachers let go in the budget crunch across the state shouldn’t be too difficult to get replacements even if they act as substitutes for a while.

As for adminstrators, if they are not on employee contracts that may otherwise restrict the termination options, GA is a right to work state which means APS can fire central office level adminstrator anytime they choice without having to create some cause for the action.

The bigger quesiton is will they manifest the fortitude to wipe the slate clean and seed a new culture throughout the district?

William Casey

August 5th, 2010
9:29 am

TEACHER&MOM’S 9:04 comment is spot-on and cheating will be reduced if Hall goes because any organization’s leader must be proactive (perhaps, even fanatical) when dealing with this. She most certainly was not. However, removing Hall won’t solve the problem. For every active cheater, there are many others complicit in the “crime”— they knew about it and did nothing. It’s deeply rooted in the organization’s culture. And, don’t for a minute believe that it’s limited to the APS or that it’s a racial issue. There was widespread cheating (not on standardized test) at the suburban “School of Excellence” where I was Dean in the 1990’s. I tried to root it out. The man in charge squashed our attempts at reform and my career. The “careerists” in any organization almost always manage to keep the lid on long enough for themselves to move on to that “higher paying job elsewhere.” Look for the deeper problem, not just individual cheaters.

William Casey

August 5th, 2010
9:40 am

ADVOCATE: Your last line is right on the money. The problem is that the slate won’t stay clean for very long unless the nature of the organization changes. I’m fairly certain that Beverly Hall didn’t begin her career thinking about how organizing cheatng (or at the very least turning a blind eye to it) would be necessary in her career advancement. The “system” taught her that. The advent of “high stakes testing” accelerated the process. Corruption occurs “one day at a time” with little compromises that only too soon become big ones.

catlady

August 5th, 2010
9:47 am

Expediency is too kind a word for the misrepresentation, Ms. Downey. It was a calculated effort to obscure, deflect, and lie.

If this is a Blue Ribbon Panel, I hate to see the work of lesser panels.

The Empress has no clothes, plain and simple! Time for the state to step in.

Dunwoody Mom

August 5th, 2010
10:03 am

Did anyone really think this “Blue Ribbon Panel” would do anything other than protect APS and “whitewash” over the cheating? This was a given once they announced who was on this “Blue Ribbon Panel”. The state should tell them to go back and actually come back with the truth next time.

Shar

August 5th, 2010
10:43 am

Taxpayers have been defrauded by the clear intent to cheat in order to qualify for bonuses that would otherwise not have been paid. This starts with Beverly Hall, and trickles down through her corrupt and tyrannical administration to every tainted school. Criminal charges should be filed, and the Board that should have caught this and didn’t – and that now refuses to recognize this – should all be recalled. No further tax money should be put into the hands of these liars and thieves.

What is the procedure for citizens to request that the state take over the local school system?

Burroughston Broch

August 5th, 2010
10:59 am

Given the makeup of the blue ribbon committee, I believe that the report’s executive summary was written first and then the body of the report written to match.

Just like the 3 little moneys – see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

Email time

August 5th, 2010
11:24 am

I find it hard to believe that between 109 educators, the central office, and 9 board members, that there isn’t any compelling evidence in any of their emails. Might be time to pull out that fine tooth comb.

Maureen? Maureen?

August 5th, 2010
11:45 am

Maureen the governor now has authority to step in does he not? If this was Clayton, would you have any hesitation about asking the governor to step in. The APS school board may be more “civil” and act more “professional” but the bottom line is they named 7 members to a panel with verifiable conflicts of interest with APS due to their business dealings with APS, and 4 members of the same political action committee that endorsed most if not all of the current board.

Isn’t this kind of behavior the very sort of thing that the General Assembly had in mind when they gave the governor the authority to step in?

Dunwoody Mom

August 5th, 2010
11:47 am

I don’t think the Governor can step in unless their accreditation by SACS is taken away?

What's best for kids?

August 5th, 2010
11:48 am

The words “Blue Ribbon Committee” are so ironic. Again, Bryant needs to step up to the plate and erradicate the cheater at the helm.

Maureen? Maureen?

August 5th, 2010
11:59 am

If that’s the case Dunwoody Mom, it begs the question, where is SACS? Certainly naming people who endorsed the board, and have business dealings with a school system, to investigate that very same school system rises to the level of “outside influence” that SACS is so concerned about doesn’t it?

Dunwoody Mom

August 5th, 2010
12:04 pm

Yes, it would seem this should interest SACS, especially with the “rumors” that the Atlanta BOE is really hand-picked by the Chamber of Commerce. I mean if SACS is concerned with a DeKalb BOE member selling pizzas to DCSS schools, then one would think the APS BOE situation would be one to look at.

Maureen? Maureen?

August 5th, 2010
12:30 pm

Credit where credit is due.

You’ve dodged some tough questions Maureen, but we must give credit that you have featured the report in multiple blogs, and have raised some good questions as well. It’s just that at this point we need a pitbull of a “watchdog” given the level of intransigence and denial on the part of APS.

An advocate for public education change & choice

August 5th, 2010
12:36 pm

@ Dunwood Mom: At least 3 members of the Atlanta BOE were challenged and narrowly won back their seats (Chairman Burks being one of them).

Regardless as to teh favor of the Atlanta Chamber (who no doubt love any the Atlanta BOE for their continued blind support of Tax Allocations Districts for which APS has recieved little ROI to date), fact the APS consistuancy overall does little to really hold the Atlanta BOE accountable. When this fundemental point changes, then the district will change. Until then, don’t expect anything but more of the same.

An advocate for public education change & choice

August 5th, 2010
12:37 pm

sorry for all the typos, mind moving faster than my fingers.

chillywilly

August 5th, 2010
1:19 pm

I was hoping that this morning’s breaking news would read “Dr. Hall Steps Down”. Needless to say, I’m very disappointed that she’s still APS Superintendent & camped out up on the 8th Floor. Here’s hoping that the US Marhalls will visit APS in the very near future and sweep the whole building. Start on the 8th Floor with Beverly Hall. Walk her out. On the way out, stop by & get Keith Bromery, Sue Yeager, the whole Legal Department, Kathy Augustine, Dave Williamson (Williams), Chuck Burbridge, Nader Sohrab (handcuff him), Crissi Calhoun, Sandra Mormon, Holly Keller, Brad Johnson, Millicent Few, Marquenta Sands, Penn Payne, the 4 Board Members that accepted the cheating report, & Elwood Duckworth (what does he do anyway?). Put them all in a white van without windows, without AC, drive them to the Mississippi State line, let them out of the van, and tell them to “git”.

Maureen Downey

August 5th, 2010
1:21 pm

@Chillywilly, Will you send me the information that you mentioned the other day? Mdowney@ajc.com.
Thanks

Finally a leader steps up!

August 5th, 2010
1:22 pm

State Rep. Ralph Long told Channel 2 Action News reporter Richard Elliot that he believes Hall and every principal at one of the named schools should turn in their resignation.

Good for Rep Ralph Long. Where are the other “leaders”?

And has Maureen taken chillywilly up on his/her offer to look at the documentation chillywilly has talked about?

Finally a leader steps up!

August 5th, 2010
1:23 pm

“And has Maureen taken chillywilly up on his/her offer to look at the documentation chillywilly has talked about?”

“@Chillywilly, Will you send me the information that you mentioned the other day? Mdowney@ajc.com.”

Well shut my mouth Maureen! Shut my mouth!

chillywilly

August 5th, 2010
1:48 pm

@Maureen

Consider it done.

Disgusted

August 5th, 2010
3:12 pm

I absolutely cannot believe that no one at Deerwood Academy, and Humphries, Thomasville Heights, Dobbs, and Fickett elementary schools are receiving recommendations for disciplinary action given the facts that the AJC has reported here. This given evidence that half of 90 classes had a suspicious number of erasures and a prior cheating scandal in 2008 (Deerwood); half the classes had a suspicious number of erasures and a staff memeber reported administrators “cleaned up” test answer sheets in the school auditorium (Humphries); 39% of the classrooms with a suspicious number of erasures, a middle school teacher saying there’s no way the students she inherited possibly obtained the test scores reported and submitting evidence to back that up, 139 erasures in one class where the average is 27, and 2010 scores that plummeted by 31% (Thomasville Heights); and severely high number of erasures in classrooms and suspicious 100% pass rates in some classrooms (Doobs and Finch). If these facts as reported by the AJC are true, then it is unbelievable that the “blue ribbon panel” failed to recommend disciplinary action for a single person at any of these schools — nor apparently did the panel even bother to conduct more than a cursory investigation at these schools.

On top of this, we have the head of the blue ribbon panel, Gary Price, whining “How far are supposed to look and investigate? How many resources do we devote? How long do keep a cloud over these schools heads? Or shouldn’t we just move on?” Excuse me? He didn’t even scratch the surface at some of these schools. And I would submit that a teacher or administrator who takes a student’s test answer sheet, and intentionally erases a wrong answer and changes it to a correct answer — even only on limited occasions, or even just once — is probably someone who should not be an educator, or at the very least needs to be subject to some discipline and/or some time away from teaching and schools. This isn’t cheating by students we’re talking about — it’s cheating by TEACHERS, PRINCIPALS, and SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS. I would submit to Mr. Price that this sort of thing needs to be vigorously investigated at ALL of the schools where it may have taken place, and not just at 12 of the 58 suspected schools.

Thank you to the AJC for continuing to follow this story, and please do not stop. I am a parent of two children attending APS schools (thankfully not at schools suspected of cheating), and so have been especially interested in this unfolding saga. The fact that so many of the members of the blue ribbon panel have financial ties to APS, as the AJC has previously reported, makes this situation all the more disgusting. Please keep pushing on this story!

Just Wondering

August 5th, 2010
3:16 pm

First is took to long. Not it didn’t take long enough. Next it was taxpayer money being spent (which is entirely false), now we want taxpayer money to be spent to investigate more and take over the system (which as correctly stated can’t be done unless accreditation is lost – btw Clayton’s story is entirely different). First independent. Now cronies. In Baltimore it took 2 years to resolve a case at a school to only find one person culpable. And they eventually had to do the level of analysis that was done by Caveon (which the state could have done but didn’t).

I hope Maureen can share what chillywilly has been ranting about, because I for one would love to see it. If there’s something that needs action by all means make it happen

FYI, you can’t just fire a teacher or other educator for convenience, they State of Georgie provides educators due process rights prior to such action (despite being an “at-will” state). However, if they have admitted or had their hands caught in the cookie jar, then you can give em the boot.

An advocate for public education change & choice

August 5th, 2010
3:39 pm

@Chillywilly – your 1:19pm post had me laughing my butt off. BTW, you forgot Sharon Pitts, who will likely be in Dr. Hall’s office when the marshalls storm in

An advocate for public education change & choice

August 5th, 2010
3:43 pm

@ Just Wondering: Your latter point is quite interesting. Makes me want to dig deeper into the boilerplate language used for these teacher and principal contracts in the local districts across the metro area.

Does any know if a copy of a blank standard teacher/principle contract be subject to Freedom Of Information Act requests?

chillywilly

August 5th, 2010
4:10 pm

Get Sharon Pitts to!

catlady

August 5th, 2010
5:18 pm

Why did this disappear off the top (most important stories) of the ajc online? I was gone 5 hours and it disappeared?! Other stories linger, but not this one! I gotta wonder about that…

Just Wondering

August 5th, 2010
5:34 pm

I believe the Code of Georgia 20-2-940 or something like that talks about due process for teachers/principals.

For those that want to read it, the entire report is available on APS’ website. It appears the BRC went deeper than the state by asking questions like did the wrong to right erasures impact scores and pass rate. Why didn’t the state look at that? Another piece of info is how many students got the hard answers right and the easy answers wrong. If you really want to find cheating, that is the guaranteed way to do it. If that is available, GOSA should share it with the public.

As for the schools mentioned, does anyone know if people in these schools were included in the 109?

catlady

August 5th, 2010
6:08 pm

Just wondering: I may be more than usually dense today, but it looks like if a group of kids gets more answers RIGHT, it would impact scores and pass rates. I mean, why do it otherwise? And remember the history–that scores have been improving unbelievably for the last several years. In addition, did educators know the cut scores BEFORE the test? Otherwise, how would you know how high you have to aim to get a pass? I guess,given the low level the cut scores have been (<50% correct?) you could make a shrewd guess..

Lee

August 5th, 2010
6:31 pm

I would like to know who actually conducted these interviews. Individuals who are not trained in investigative interview techniques have no business in an investigation such as this.

bear claws

August 5th, 2010
10:46 pm

There will be a community meeting on the blue ribbon finding on the CRCT Test. Come and speak out for our children. Come mothers, fathers,grandmothers,uncles, aunts, concerned citizens, and anybody else that has our children interest at heart. Come out and support our children. The meeting will be held on August 16th at 6:00 p.m. at 130 Trinty Avenue. Beverly Hall must go.

Just Wondering

August 5th, 2010
11:57 pm

Appendix 6 or 7 of the report has some tables that speak to the scores, etc. which shed some light on this for me because I thought the same thing. It had year to year score comparisons. Some of the schools in that 31 or 33 the state identified had slight increases in 2009 over the previous years and handful actually had declines in 2009. A handful had increases in 2010, most had small declines from 2009.

The AJC through their own research identified almost the same “12″ almost a year ago and that’s where the big jumps and drops are. I’m curious about the cut scores too as I thought they were hush hush.

It would be really interesting to see what the other systems turned in to see how this report compares. Didn’t the AJC report a few weeks ago about 80 people from the 133 other schools that were being referred for something?

Maureen, is it possible to get links to the other systems reports just to see what’s going on with the entire 191.

@bear claws

August 6th, 2010
12:21 am

Will people really be able to ask questions or will it be, like so many other APS community meetings a sham where questions have to be submitted in advance?

bear claws

August 6th, 2010
1:05 am

Get there early. The most important thing is
to show up to let the School Board know that the community has enough of Beverly Hall and the board’s lack of leadership. We elected the board to help make this school system the best in the nation, rather than the joke of the state. Show up for that little boy or girl that want to learn how to read, so that they will not spend two years in remedial courses if they want to go to college.

ouch

August 6th, 2010
6:47 am

wow, went to Rep. Long website and read his letter on B. Hall and he pretty much spelled it out.

within ATL race matters. I have to give it to him even though his is a dem. He’s got a pair.

chillywilly

August 6th, 2010
12:33 pm

ouch,

Please provide the web link for Rep. Long. Thanks.

Raquel

August 6th, 2010
12:41 pm

Representative Ralph Long’s website is http://www.ralphlongiii.com

About Time!

August 6th, 2010
12:41 pm

The ethics inservice that is state mandated for teachers and staff is just a joke. The greedy and the insane view this information during their nap time after school. When the lights go out to view this information so do their brains. You are waisting time on cheaters. The incentive bonuses are too powerful for greedy teachers and administrators to be honest. No they are not putting the children first…their focus is a new kitchen being remodeled or a new Lexus. The APS’s elementary schools really have a serious cheating problem, I know …!

Maureen Downey

August 6th, 2010
12:45 pm

@Raquel, I looked at that link earlier as as Long’s legislative page on the House website and don’t see the Hall letter. Did you find it on either of those places?

Atlanta Advocate

August 9th, 2010
6:58 am

I was attempting to read the report itself, & this phrase stopped me cold: “The 4.0 cut‐off was selected because any lower values would increase the likelihood of greater false positives (i.e. including individuals that are not involved in any wrongdoing).” 4.0 was Caveon’s numerical representation that the erasure pattern had a 1 in 10,000 probability of naturally occurring. In other words, the Blue Ribbon Commission cleared and did not investigate where the results had a 1 in 9,999 probability of naturally occurring. White Elementary, for example, isn’t one of the 12, but had a Caveon index of 3.5 – only 8 interviews conducted, and no staff referred for further investigation.

Deerwood Academy and several other schools flagged by GOSA had Caveon scores of 0.0 – so it appears that Caveon and GOSA empirically observed different erasure rates. Why hasn’t GOSA released their information fully? It is possible there is something wrong at GOSA as well.