Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Pa. ed. chief orders more tests probed for possible cheating

Pennsylvania Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis today said he has ordered all PSSA exams from 2009 on reviewed for possible testing improprieties. "It's very concerning," Tomalis said in an interview.

Pa. ed. chief orders more tests probed for possible cheating

Pennsylvania Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis today said he has ordered all PSSA exams from 2009 on reviewed for possible testing improprieties.

"It's very concerning," Tomalis said of possible cheating in an interview.

Tomalis had already ordered 40 districts and nine charter schools flagged for possible cheating in a forensic analysis of 2009 PSSAs to investigate testing irregularities.  Now, he wants forensic analyses done for the 2010 and 2011 PSSAs, as well.

He said he wanted the work to be done as quickly as possible, and said he expects reports by the early fall.

The districts - including Philadelphia - will have 30 days to respond to the Department of Education's demands for a probe into 2009 testing flags.

Multiple Philadelphia schools had several flags for statistical irregularities.  That does not necessarily mean cheating, but can suggest it.

The state could conduct its own inquiry if districts' probes are found to be inadequate.

About this blog

Inquirer reporter Kristen Graham writes the Philly School Files blog, where she covers education in Philadelphia, both in and out of the classroom.

During the school year, you’ll frequently find her hosting live chats about the district on Philly.com.

Please do pass along the scoop about what’s going on at your Philadelphia public school; Kristen welcomes tips, story ideas and witty banter.


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