EdMedia Commons Archive

Findings of Broad Test-Score Anomalies Stir Debate

If you didn’t get a chance to pick up the Sunday paper, a fascinating new suspicious-test-results story broke over the weekend. There are implications for districts nationwide, but the story’s epicenter is in Atlanta, where reporters at the Journal-Constitution combed through thousands of schools’ test results using methodology similar to that used in last year’s bombshell cheating story that ultimately led to the resignation of superintendent Beverly Hall.

“Suspicious test scores in roughly 200 school districts resemble those that entangled Atlanta in the biggest cheating scandal in American history.

The newspaper analyzed test results for 69,000 public schools and found high concentrations of suspect math or reading scores in school systems from coast to coast. The findings represent an unprecedented examination of the integrity of school testing.”

The most immediate question raised by this finding, as you might expect, is whether the method was reliable. Gary Miron wrote a piece published on Valerie Strauss’s blog criticizing the methodology of the new coverage. In contrast, he praised the approach taken by USA Today in its EWA-award-winning investigation from 2011.

While we can certainly expect the AJC to respond, what do you think about the investigation, and the research behind it?

This post originally appeared on EWA’s now-defunct online community, EdMedia Commons. Old content from EMC will appear in the Ed Beat archives.