Competition: the way a monopoly is dismantled
This week we offer a series of blogs looking at how the traditional public school system in Kentucky – which enjoys a virtual monopoly over deciding where your child can go to school – has been seduced by its own power in arrogant ways that adversely impact students and taxpayers alike. We will show how giving Kentucky parents the competition provided by badly needed school-choice options is the way to curb that monopoly power.
Other “monopoly education staffers” cheating on tests???
Yesterday we discussed cheating on the ACT college entrance test that occurred several years ago in Perry County. While the actual cheaters have never been revealed, several staff members who failed to maintain security over ACT test booklets had action taken against their professional certificates via the first successful use of new, forensic testing methods for such matters. It likely will not be the last example.
This is rather astounding because Male is a competitive magnet high school with some of the top test scores in Kentucky. Can it be that even high-performing monopolies never get enough?
The COMPASS test involved at Male also comes from the ACT, Inc. There seems to be a built-in inducement to inflate scores as COMPASS results are used by Kentucky’s Unbridled Learning school accountability program as a method of determining students’ college and career readiness.
Inflated COMPASS scores can also lead to students being admitted into regular, credit-bearing college courses when those students really need to first take remedial courses. That sets up a bad situation for these students that can accelerate their flunking out of college altogether.
While the Male story is still developing, various media outlets have interviewed a number of different students who point to problems. It appears that students, not staffers, blew the whistle on inappropriate test-administration activities, including providing answers. Students also allege that Male staff members encouraged students to lie to ACT and Kentucky Department of Education investigators.
Since this evolving story is still under investigation, we will wait for release of the final reports in order to fully understand what happened — or did not happen — at Male.
However, WDRB-TV already obtained evidence that at least some testing irregularities do exist, shown by this letter announcing to parents that Male High’s fall 2013 COMPASS scores were invalidated for use in the Kentucky Unbridled Learning school accountability system. Students were being asked to retest in March 2014.