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Monday, April 18, 2011 - 11:17am

Schools Boost Security For CRCT

Some Georgia schools are beefing up their security for high-stakes testing.

The measures for the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests follow suspected cheating incidents.

Scandals have hit school systems across the state in recent years.

Educators were suspected of changing students' answers to avoid state sanctions.

The most serious charges were in Metro Atlanta.

But investigators also looked into Dougherty, Richmond and Glynn County schools.

Test coordinator Joan Boorman says, only one school in her coastal Glynn district will have state monitors present for this week's CRCT testing.

But other schools have boosted their security.

"We've changed the storage areas for the tests," Boorman says. "Once they leave the central office, there's one room that has only one key."

Some Atlanta schools now have cameras monitoring who goes in and out of test storage areas.

And some teachers won't be allowed to give the test.

But the Glynn County district didn't come under as much scrutiny and hasn't gone to such extremes.

"The reason for the signatures, the dating and having two people present is, we want to protect ourselves from the suggestion that we're not following the rules," Boorman says. "It's more in the spirit [that] we know we're doing this the right way."

State investigators looked into schools where high incidents of erase marks fueled suspicion that educators were changing answers on the CRCT.

State officials use that exam to gauge how students are doing.

If students aren't improving, teachers and administrators could face sanctions.

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