A "sneak peek" sounds like an innocuous thing - but not when it comes to the Maryland State Assessment:
Two fourth-grade teachers have been removed from their classrooms after Carroll County school officials found that the pair had given copies of questions from a state achievement test to other teachers and pupils before the exam.
A teacher at Linton Springs Elementary School in Sykesville acknowledged that she had taken notes from the fourth-grade Maryland State Assessment reading exam last year while working at another school, Carroll schools Superintendent Charles Ecker said Monday. The teacher used the notes to create worksheets for her pupils for this year's tests, Ecker said. The tests were administered from March 13-22.
Interesting that the names are being withheld from the press. And it's interesting, but not the least bit surprising, that the quoted experts rush to blame the current culture of testing for this mess, rather than a lack of ethics on the part of the teachers involved. And this despite the fact that the teachers would have not been penalized had their students not done well. I don't think our "culture of testing" forces teachers and students to cheat. I think our culture of cheating is aided by all the testing criticism in the media today. Everything said by the "experts" quoted by this article would absolve a teacher of personal responsibility if they succumbed to the urge to leak test items to students.
Oh, and why was copying last year's exam such a helpful cheating tool?
After they noticed similarities between the worksheets and this year's test, the Mount Airy teachers alerted the principal.
Emphasis mine. If we really think teachers are so helpless against the temptation to cheat, it might be better to, you know, not use the same test form twice in two years.
(via the Education Wonks)Posted by kswygert at March 30, 2006 12:03 PM