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NEA says changing student test scores is unethical and unacceptable

Any accusations should be based on full investigations, not probability formulas


WASHINGTON - March 24, 2012 -

Cox Newspapers has published an article tying possible teacher impropriety to “unusual test score swings” found in some statewide test results. The Cox story is based on analyses of state test data and probability studies. The news story cites possible teacher/administrator tampering for bundles of tests scores outside a five percent deviation over several years. The nation’s largest organization for teachers, the National Education Association, today reiterated its concern with high stakes tests and reaffirmed the organization’s strong opposition to cheating.

“NEA does not condone cheating of any kind for any reason,” said National Education President Dennis Van Roekel. “Teachers do an excellent job under difficult circumstances. NEA members across the country are working closely with communities, parents and lawmakers to make sure that all students receive a quality education that prepares them to lead successful lives.”

Van Roekel said NEA is working to raise the bar for entry into the profession because every student deserves qualified, caring, committed teachers in their classrooms. He said NEA is also working closely with many partners in the education and civil rights community to encourage Congress to end NCLB’s era of high-stakes testing, labeling and punishing schools.

“The overuse of standardized tests for high stakes decisions has shortchanged students, teachers and our education system in too many ways for far too long. We’ve lost sight of the reason tests were designed—to help gauge students’ comprehension and progress,” continued Van Roekel.

Van Roekel said NEA categorically denounces cheating or altering test scores. However, he said individuals accused deserve a thorough investigation, and should not be accused based solely on complicated probability formulas.

“By continuing to focus on these tests results and placing yet more blame on teachers, we are diverting attention from what really matters—making sure all our teachers have the resources they need to provide our students with the world class public school education they deserve,” he said.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Sara Robertson  (202) 822-7823, newsdeadline@nea.org