It looks like the massive school test cheating scandal in Atlanta, Georgia could get pushed aside by an even messier affair that seems to be unraveling in Columbus, Ohio.
The Columbus Dispatch reports in an article datelined May 3, 2013 that, under police escort, the state auditor’s office entered numerous high schools in that community to serve dozens of warrants to seize large quantities of student records.
According to the news article, the auditor has already uncovered evidence that:
“Columbus school administrators ‘scrubbed’ low-performing students from the rolls to make schools and the district look better.”
That would inflate school averages on state tests, of course.
The next phase of this extensive audit is now focused on what seems to be massive alterations of student grades to boost high school graduation rates.
The newspaper reports that in 2010-11:
“School employees made more than 311,000 grade changes during that school year. The district, which is Ohio’s largest, has about 50,000 students.”
That averages out to over six grade changes per student in just one year! Wow!
Meanwhile, we know the Kentucky Department of Education instituted a forensics program to check for problems with our state testing. So far, there has been no announcement of whether our program is running clean or also has issues. Let’s hope Kentucky’s teachers have not bitten from the same apple that is apparently on the menu in Atlanta and Columbus.
While I don’t believe in trial by the press, it’s possible that Atlanta may soon be able to say, “Thank goodness for Columbus!”