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Statewide probe shows signs of cheating on standardized tests

Courtesy of MCT

Standardized testing is a vital part of educational records and could make or break admittance to a college or university. Any sign of cheating could raise red flags in admission offices nationwide.

A recent analysis from the Dayton Daily News found hundreds of Ohio school districts and charter schools show signs of cheating on standardized tests.

The patterns found are just indications that cheating could have occurred in the past seven years, according to the report. There will be no proof until further investigation.

“No tests scores have been recalled as of yet,” said Stephanie Sanders, Ohio State’s interim director of admissions operations.

However, Sanders said if the Admissions Office is notified that certain test scores are evoked or certain placement sites are fraudulent, the office will have to take immediate action.

“If there became an issue with someone who we thought passed but hadn’t and who had been offered acceptance, the university would have to cancel admission,” Sanders said.

Although the Committee on Academic Misconduct does not directly deal with this issue, it would still report any cases to the admissions office, said Tim Curry, coordinator of OSU’s Committee on Academic Misconduct.

“That wouldn’t fall under our jurisdiction, but if I had a case, I would refer it to admissions and they would have to investigate it,” Curry said.

Admission investigations and retractions are seen on a case-by-case basis, Sanders said.

“We would have to figure out if the test is a big reason why we made the admission and we reserve the right to detract admissions,” Sanders said.

If test scores are proven to be faulty, some students from Ohio school districts will be affected. Some because of their own unethical actions and other students because of faulty test sites.

“I’d be really mad,” said Keegan Hale, a third-year in civil engineering. “Ohio State is a really good university that people like to work hard for. I worked hard to get here.”

The test score patterns found in Ohio are similar to those that indicated cheating in Atlanta. The Dayton Daily News reported that the likelihood of such spikes in test scores was less than one in 1000. It also stated that more than 500 school districts and charter schools in Ohio show questionable test score spikes during the years that were examined.

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