WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — District of Columbia schools officials knew in early 2009 about the possibility that dozens of teachers were cheating on standardized tests, two years before the issue was acknowledged publicly, according to an internal memo.
An analyst hired by then-schools chancellor Michelle Rhee found that 191 teachers at 70 schools had been implicated in possibly erasing students’ wrong answers and filling in the right ones, according to the memo obtained by The Associated Press on Friday.
Inspectors general from the district and the U.S. Education Department investigated and found isolated cheating but not to the extent suggested by the erasure rates. One teacher was fired for cheating.
Also Friday, school officials released an audit that showed cheating continues to be a problem in the city, which has moved aggressively to establish test-based accountability and evaluate teachers based on student performance.
The audit found cheating at 11 schools during the 2011-2012 school year. Test results from seven public schools and four charter schools have been thrown out. Chancellor Kaya Henderson said in a statement that teachers found to be involved will be disciplined and could be fired.
“Nearly all of our teachers, more than 99 percent, are following the very strict procedures and protocols we have in place to prevent testing impropriety,” Henderson said. “We do not tolerate cheating.”