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CRCT cheating: Let’s find out the truth

By   /   June 30, 2010  /   Comments

New Dougherty County School Superintendent Dr. Joshua Murfree has an early opportunity to prove he is a strong and independent leader. The CRCT fiasco, the school system hoped was behind it, is only getting worse. No school leader has had the courage to stand up and say it’s likely, or even possible, that teachers or administrators tampered with the tests. It would be nice if Dr. Murfree would do that and promise to get to the bottom of what really happened.

The state ordered the system to investigate why so many classes in so many schools had suspiciously high numbers of wrong answers erased and changed to right answers on last year’s standardized tests. Instead, the school system set out to prove the state was wrong and there were no problems at all. That wasn’t good enough for the state. The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement sent the Dougherty County system’s report back with a demand for more answers.

Now, CRCT results from THIS year raise more doubts. The scores dropped nearly across the board. The questions about possible tampering last year were primarily about elementary schools. State monitors oversaw the testing this year in eight of those schools. With those monitors watching, scores in 19 of 21 categories in elementary schools dropped.

Numbers for individual schools aren’t available yet, so we don’t know how much the scores changed in schools the state says had questionable results last year. But it’s highly likely they dropped, perhaps dramatically. And it’s time for somebody to find out why.

Jim Wilcox1Written by Jim Wilcox, general manager of WALB.

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  • Published: 1523 days ago on June 30, 2010
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  • Last Modified: June 28, 2010 @ 4:47 pm
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Comments

  1. David Sims says:

    By the way, did you know that of the 71 schools judged by the state to be “severe” for CRCT cheating in 2009, only one of them has a majority white student body? Yep. Just one.

    Three others are majority Hispanic, Latino, or Mestizo… however you call them.

    The remainder of the severely cheating schools, 68 of the 71, are majority Black. That just can’t be happenstance.

  2. David Sims says:

    It’s easy to figure out why the CRCT scores for 2010 dropped in comparison with those of 2009. There was a lot of cheating going on in 2009. But the state got suspicious and sent monitors to watch the administering of the CRCT in 2010. That made the schools that cheated in 2009 too afraid to attempt similar shenanigans this year. Since the students CRCT scores weren’t cheated upward this year, you see their actual ability reflected in the scores this year, whereas you saw only scholastic fraud in the scores of last year.

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Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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