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Cheating in Schools – Lessons Learned

The recent discovery of vast numbers of teachers in Atlanta who faked students’ scores on high stakes tests is an astonishing twist in the use of tests in U.S. public schools.

To deal with this issue, some have called for the elimination of standardized tests. However, we feel that accountability data is too important to stakeholders to drop completely.

Hopelessness about how to improve student achievement is one of the reasons teachers felt compelled to cheat on these standardized tests.

If teachers had a better way to know where students stood academically, if they had a better idea about the areas where their students needed help, if the teachers felt they had a chance to help all their students, then perhaps there would be less incentive to cheat.

And it goes without saying that if students received the evaluation, support, and direction they needed, their scores improve.

Teachers need useful, formative assessments to help them determine each student’s strengths and weaknesses. Administrators need a way to know during the school year if their teachers are actually helping their students. Students deserve to learn and achieve.

All groups need a partner to show them how this can be done. This is where Merit Software fits in.