An excellent way to improve a school's test scores

What’s the best way for a school to improve its test scores?

That’s easy: you get rid of all the low-performing students, of course. Or you send truant officers to their homes on the morning of test day, and the truant officers say, “Don’t go to school today.” Or you alter their transcripts so that they are no longer sophomores on test day. Then the Superintendent can collect his bonus for achieving high test scores.

You think I’m making this up, don’t you? Or you think it happened in some tiny, rural district where nobody pays attention. But no, it happened in the 64,000-student district of El Paso, Texas. The press did pay attention, including the New York Times. Law enforcement paid attention, in the person of the U.S Attorney.

The Superintendent of Schools has actually been sentenced to prison for this fraud. High-stakes tests breed desperate solutions.



Categories: Teaching & Learning