Teachers at New York City’s Biggest Charter School Chain May Be Cheating on Standardized Tests
So says insider report on "helping" students at Success Academy.
One of the nation’s highest-profile charter school chains may be creating a culture of “teacher cheating” in which educators are so pressured to boost student standardized test scores that they will intervene in various ways during the tests, Politico New York has reported.
“It seems possible if not likely that some teacher cheating is occurring at Success [Academy] on both internal assessments and state exams,” read a memo written last July by Roy Germano, a social scientist who the New York City-based chain hired to assess “questions we never thought to ask” as it was contemplating its continued growth. The memo was obtained byPolitico New York reporter Eliza Shapiro.
“While Germano did not conclusively prove that teachers were cheating,” Shapiro wrote, “he reports multiple incidents of Success staffers informing that Success teachers may have prepared students for specific questions on internal tests, allowed students to copy answers from each other, scored their own students higher than students in other classes, and pointed to incorrect answers on exams and warned students to rethink their answers.”
New York City’s Success Academy is the city’s largest charter school chain, with nearly 10,000 mostly poor students of color in 43 schools. It hopes to double its number of schools and students in the near future. As the New York Times reported last April, its claim to fame and justification for its “polarizing” academics and political advocacy come from its student test results on the state’s standardized math and reading exams, which have been more than double the average level of the city’s traditional public schools.
“Success Academy is the highest scoring charter chain in New York, possibly the nation,” said Diane Ravitch, a charter critic, pointing to Politico’s report. “It is also very controversial, due to its no-excuses policies, its attrition rates, and Teachers at New York City’s Biggest Charter School Chain May Be Cheating on Standardized Tests | Alternet: