Teachers have tried many tactics to stop their students from cheating.
But, it was the teachers themselves who got caught cheating in 2011. They were erasing and changing their students’ answers on achievement tests to make themselves look better, according to an article in the New York Times.
In recent years, the government has made the achievement or proficiency tests the cornerstone of its education debate. It uses these tests to measure students’ achievement, comparing them to students in foreign countries and past students.
The government then blamed teachers for their students’ poor performance on these tests, and it even threatened many of them with their jobs if they could not improve their students’ scores. Many teachers simply could increase their students’ scores; so they took the easy way out and cheated.
Some teachers gave their students answers to questions before the test; others showed students test questions, and some even erased and changed their students’ answers.
Naturally, this was a huge scandal for education, and many administrators are now trying to make these tests more credible.
The Department of Education created a panel in July to change the way achievement tests are graded. Some of its programs have already gone into effect, and others will require approval by states’ education policy boards.
However, little has actually changed. All states must now administer the tests on the same day, and all educators who proctor or grade the exams must be certified to do so. Some states do not allow teachers to grade their own students’ exams; however, some still do.
But, many educators and administrators feel that not enough is being done to ensure the credibility of these tests.
They believe that every state should ban its teachers from grading their own students’ exams. Others believe that states should hire independent investigators to examine cheating scandals and help ensure it does not happen again. They want states to computer scan all answer sheets, looking for eraser marks because they believe that many teachers have gotten away with cheating
However, education budgets are tight at every state right now, and implementing programs to ensure teachers from cheating seems unnecessary to many states.