Georgia eyes eraser marks in high-stakes testing
| Oct 13, 2010
In Georgia, state standardized tests that students took last year showed an unusually high number of eraser marks. As many as 250,000 incorrect answers were changed to make them correct. The tests are given to children in grades 1-8. The results determine whether schools meet federal benchmarks under the No Child Left Behind Act.
Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue has launched his own inquiry. More than 50 schools in Atlanta were flagged for cheating.
Testing experts acknowledge that high-stakes tests create immense pressure for principals and administrators to improve scores, so there can be a kind of desperation that leads to cheating. James Wollack, an associate professor of educational psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says how Georgia deals with this situation will set a precedent for other states.
As the governor's investigation continues, Atlanta's public schools are now holding 12 weeks of remedial classes for kids who failed the 2009 tests, and the district is figuring out how to improve test security. For more, visit NPR.org.