Two Muscogee County schools have been labeled of “severe concern” for test tampering, according to a state audit of student responses on the 2009 Criterion Referenced Competency Test.
CRCT answer sheets from Muscogee Elementary and Davis Elementary showed a higher than average number of erasures from wrong to right answers, according to an audit conducted by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. The office reviewed student answer documents on the state standardized test from 125,000 students across the state, including students from 47 Muscogee County elementary and middle schools.
State auditors evaluated the number of erasures from wrong to right answers, determined how many erasures usually occur in a typical classroom and flagged any classroom where the number of errors was more than three standard deviations from the state average. Standard deviation is a measure of how a set of data is spread out from its average and it shows how likely it is that event will occur.
Muscogee Elementary and Davis Elementary were classified as “severe concern,” because the number of wrong to right answer changes on the CRCT was more than three standard deviations above the state average, in more than 25 percent of their classrooms.
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Seven other schools were labeled of “moderate concern” by the state, because the number of wrong to right answer changes was more than three standard deviations above the state average, in 10 to 24 percent of their classrooms.
Eight schools were labeled of “minimal concern”, because the number of wrong to right answer changes was more than three standard deviations above the state average in 5 to 10 percent of their classrooms.
Thirty of the county’s schools were categorized as clear in the test audit.
Muscogee County superintendent Susan Andrews will conduct her own investigation into schools whose results were determined to be of moderate or severe concern for test tampering in 2009.
“Although there are areas of concern in our data, we are pleased that the majority of our schools are in the Clear status,” Andrews said. “We take this report very seriously and will conduct our investigation in a systematic manner.”