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Monday, October 19, 2009 - 9:07am

Investigation Questions CRCT Scores

A recent investigation by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has uncovered a new batch of public elementary schools with wide swings in standardized test scores. It follows what state officials found earlier this summer--strong evidence of CRCT cheating at four schools statewide.

This new revelation by the newspaper found 19 schools statewide had big gains or drops in scores between spring of 2008 and spring of this year. The paper cites two schools in particular, going from near the bottom in test performance to among the best in that time.

The new information might suggest a widening of the probe into cheating on the annual test. The scores are used as the state’s primary measure of academic ability for students through eighth grade.

An official with the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement told the AJC scores are being scrutinized. The findings due later this month will determine where the state will audit.

The state Department of Education said in an email to GPB that they cannot comment specifically to the newspaper report and will wait for any findings from the Governor's Office of Student Achievement. If questions are raised from those findings, the DOE says it would take action from there.

State education officials point out quick action was taken during the summer when it was found four schools changed answer sheets on state assessments. The action included Superintendent Kathy Cox pulling AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) status for the schools.