by Donna Krache, CNN
(CNN) An investigative report published in Sunday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution found indications of standardized test cheating in school systems throughout the U.S.
The seven-month long investigation of testing data examined 1.6 million records from almost 70,000 public schools nationwide. Suspicious score increases, high numbers of erasures and other irregularities were uncovered in about 200 school districts. The indicators found were similar to those discovered in Atlanta Public Schools, says the AJC.
Atlanta as cheating ground zero
The Atlanta Journal Constitution has broken news before about test cheating. In 2009, the paper reported “statistically unlikely” test score gains at some Atlanta schools. A state review determined that some cheating had occurred in more than half of the district’s elementary and middle schools. About 180 teachers have been implicated in the scandal.
So far, one teacher, Damany Lewis, has admitted to cheating and been fired. Other educators suspected of cheating who have not accepted a “resign or be fired” deal are being brought before a tribunal to hear their cases and determine what actions will be taken.
Former University of Georgia Chancellor Dr. Erroll Davis was named interim superintendent of APS last year. He replaced Dr. Beverly Hall. Hall resigned in June 2011 after 11 years as the head of APS. She was the recipient of praise and awards for her role in the district’s increased graduation rates and higher test scores.
Officials from APS and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are still investigating what has become known as the “biggest cheating scandal in American history," but according to the AJC, Atlanta is not alone in its testing irregularities.