New Orleans schools continue to have a higher rate of plagiarism on standardized tests than the rest of the state. Two factors could be at play: There could be a greater pressure to succeed, and there are more low-scorers in big cities.
Looked at from several different angles, New Orleans public schools have a comparatively high percentage of possible cheating on standardized tests, The Lens has found after reviewing the most recent state data available. Testing experts offered a broadly accepted rationale: cheating tends to increase when standardized tests are used for rewards and punishments of schools, teachers or students. For a variety of reasons, New Orleans schools have more riding on the outcome of test scores than public schools elsewhere in the state.
To report our second story into standardized testing problems, The Lens cross-referenced five data sets from the Louisiana Department of Education:
The 2011 state test security report, which the Department of Education compiled for the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. School district investigations into testing irregularities for 2011, which were submitted to the state.
In three recent testing years, 33 public schools have been flagged for problems and possible cheating on standardized tests — 12 more than once. A testing expert says these irregularities indicate cheating by teachers and administrators, who have a lot riding on their students’ performance.