With 178 educators implicated in Atlanta's massive standardized test cheating scandal, the integrity of high-stakes testing is coming under scrutiny. At the heart of the scandal: The allegation that teachers, school testing coordinators and principals erased student's incorrect answers and bubbled in correct responses. Atlanta isn't alone.
In my days working in schools, many teachers told me a similar story: Students they knew couldn't read on grade level somehow scored well on the reading comprehension sections of state tests. These teachers assumed that someone had gone through the testing booklet, erased the wrong answers, and penciled in the correct ones. Erasure patterns suggest that similar activity is happening in schools from Washington, D.C. to Houston.