Amidst all the self-praise among Department of Education bureaucrats for the “wave of progress” in South Carolina’s last round of PACT testing, rumors of fraudulent test results are raising questions with parents and educators.
According to The Charleston Post and Courier, SLED has begun investigating the administration of a Charleston elementary school after PACT results for the low performing school suddenly skyrocketed up over state averages in record time. Suspicious of the unusually high jump in achievement, people started looking in to the school’s testing process and found an unusual number of sketchy eraser marks on the documents.
This from the article-
“By 2007, the school outscored state and district averages, far exceeding the progress of schools with students from similar backgrounds. Educators hailed Moore as a model for other principals, the community showered her school with praise, and federal and state awards went to the school in recognition of its achievement. Moore was so successful that she was asked to lead a second downtown school, Fraser Elementary, to duplicate her accomplishments.”
In 2008, the school district monitored the PACT testing process and got very different results.
Here are some numbers from the elementary school’s 2008 PACT scores.
-Of the 8th graders taking the PACT, only 4.5% were proficient in reading and writing. For 3rd graders, the percentage of proficient students was 21%
-Not one 8th grade student taking the PACT was proficient in Math. Only 2.8% of 3rd grade students were proficient in Math.
Not to jump to conclusions, but it certainly looks like some book cooking has been going on among education bureaucrats in Charleston County.
Currently the only person taking heat for the apparent fraud is the school’s previously lauded principal, but the question remains: who else was involved in the process?
Inside sources have indicated that the corruption and lies surrounding these falsified PACT results go much higher than the elementary school principal, but just who that is will have to be revealed by the investigation.
What makes these heartbreakingly low test scores even worse, is knowing that the people put in charge of educating these kids were perfectly willing to sacrifice the children’s best interest to advance their own agenda.
While not in the same category as the outright changing of test scores, the SC Department of Education’s practice of including students with only a “basic” understanding of core subjects in the “met standard” category has been wrongly inflating the numbers on academic achievement for years. Students and parents are already being cheated out of accurate and specific data on how South Carolina students perform compared to their peers around the country. Perhaps the principal’s actions seem more egregious, but both of these practices work to mask the problems of South Carolina’s public education system at the expense of children.
If improving numbers on academic performance through lies and fraud has been happening in one school, there could be others around the state involved in the same despicable activity.
The Voice for School Choice wants to know: Do you know of this kind of activity going on in a school in your community? If so, tell us.