Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

State fails to check post-test for cheating

SEATTLE – Washington is one of a declining number of states that fail to analyze test results for signs of cheating.

The Seattle Times reported that while Washington has good measures in place to help prevent cheating, such as teacher training in test security, it doesn’t do any of the post-test analyses other states routinely use to detect cheating.

The state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction doesn’t look for erasure patterns on student answer sheets that suggest someone changed wrong answers to right ones. Nor does it look for improbably high gains in a school’s scores or look for other suspicious results, such as a class full of students with identical answers.

The OSPI said it doesn’t need to spend time and money on such post-test analyses because it’s confident suspicious activity would be reported.

But national testing experts say relying on whistle-blowers and school districts to police themselves is inadequate, especially as many states start using test scores in evaluating teachers and principals.