Matthew Di Carlo at the Shanker Institute has a good post about the importance of test security in an era of high-stakes testing.

As long as we have high-stakes testing–which I oppose–we need to guard against cheating.

He points out that the scandal in Atlanta was thoroughly reviewed by independent and well-trained investigators. They got to the bottom of it.

But the other major cheating scandal in D.C. was swept under the rug by officials who wanted to see it disappear.

Di Carlo explains in one of the links in this post that the alleged academic gains under Michelle Rhee’s tenure occurred before she became chancellor and before she implemented any of her reforms. He points out that even those gains were suspect because they are based on proficiency rates of different cohorts of students, not on test scores. Once her reforms were installed, the DC scores and proficiency rates went flat. He finds it annoying that she travels the nation boasting of her great success when her record is so thin that it is invisible.

It is a shame that the nation must now pay for test security (no doubt to the same companies that are reaping rewards writing the tests) to buttress a failed regime of high-stakes testing. More and more money is being diverted from the classroom for accountability, when those who make the decisions at the top are never held accountable.