Federal Department of Education is Looking for Information on NCLB Cheating

The US Department of Education is doing a formal Request for Information, asking the public to share what they know about problems with cheating on standardized tests that are used to determine closings of schools and firings of teachers.

The problem is that they then plan to have a panel of “external experts” to review all of this information, sanitize it, and present their results to the public as fact. Obviously the results of the ‘investigation’ will depend on who’s on that panel of experts.

Here are the pertinent paragraphs:

“First, the Department is issuing this request for information (RFI) to collect information about the integrity of academic testing. We pose a series of questions to which we invite interested members of the public to respond. Second, the Department will host a symposium where external experts can engage in further discussion and probe these issues in greater depth.Show citation box

“Third, the Department will publish a document that contains a summary of the recommendations that were developed as a result of the RFI and the symposium, as well as other resources identified by external experts participating in the symposium.”

If you would like to participate, here is the link to the Federal Register.

Let me remind you that CTB McGraw-Hill has a number of forensic data-crunching packages (so to speak) that could be purchased by school districts that already are purchasing their tests. I don’t know exactly what detection methods they have, and they wouldn’t discuss details with me, but if you are interested in finding out one possible method, then read the first chapter of Freakonomics by Dubner and Levitt.

And let me remind you that DCPS (for one) has been steadfast in refusing to purchase such forensic packages.

It’s called stonewalling.

In Georgia, a serious investigation by the state bureau of investigation got to the bottom of it, and got lots of confessions. A serious investigation by the FBI here in DC and other cities would be a good start.

This Federal Register RFI, unfortunately, sounds to me like another attempt at a whitewash. It is not serious, I predict.

Published in: on January 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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