J.C. Public Schools Responds to Allegations of Cheating on Standardized Tests

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JEFFERSON CITY- Jefferson City Public Schools Superintendent Brian Mitchell said Monday that a self-report of standardized testing irregularities last year turned out to be a false alarm. According to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in 2010 and 2011 the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education received more than 100 reports of standardized testing irregularities, including cheating. Mitchell said that anytime there is an allegation you have to report it, no matter what the allegation is.

The state spends $8.4 million to administer standardized tests, but spends no money on test fraud detection services. Missouri education officials rely on a system of self-reporting, but some critics think it's too easy for states to look the other way. However, Mitchell said that test regulations are stringent enough. He's not sure how you could supervise a test better, given that a teacher or proctor is stationed in each test room.

Pressure for students to succeed on these tests has grown over the years, with the results used to help determine such things as whether districts lose or regain accreditation. However, Mitchell said he's never heard of a teacher losing a job solely for his/her students have bad MAP test scores.