Many schools, particularly those in low-income areas that are already stretching resources too thin, are facing additional pressure to "teach to the tests" in order to ensure all of their much-needed funding continues. The pressure has apparently led some teachers and administrators to "tweak" test scores so schools get a better performance rating.
- 78 of the employees worked at just 12 schools.
- 25 employees at 13 different schools appear to have acted independently.
- 6 employees at the 33 remaining Atlanta Public Schools also acted independently, according to the investigation.
"In New York, attitudes toward manipulation—the propensity among teachers to score leniently—appear to have varied significantly from school to school. They also, interestingly, may have even varied within schools. In the Regents study, white and Asian students were more likely than their black and Latino counterparts to have their test scores manipulated if they fell just short of the cutoff—there were just much more black and Latino students total who scored below the threshold. In other words, the score manipulation may have contributed to inequality just as much as it erased it.
“'You could argue that … these are students who are close to the threshold, very near it, and it appears that teachers are using information outside of the Regents exam when deciding when to give students a little bit of a nudge over that threshold,” Dee said. “Getting students to graduate at a higher rate is unequivocally a good thing—being a high-school dropout is sometimes called an economic death sentence with some legitimacy.'"
This video outlines several reasons why teachers cheat when scoring students' grades.
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