McDuffie Responds to OSSE’s DC CAS Test Integrity Investigation Results

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For Immediate Release:
April 12, 2013

Washington, DC – Today, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) released a report on Testing Integrity Findings for School Year 2011-2012. The report investigates the integrity of the statewide District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System exam, which was administered on April 17-27, 2012, at 243 schools in both District of Columbia Public (DCPS) and Charter Schools.

Councilmember McDuffie issued the following statement on OSSE’s report on Testing Integrity Findings for School Year 2011-2012:

“I am deeply concerned with OSSE’s finding of widespread testing violations in the District’s public and charter school systems. Further, I am disturbed that three Ward 5 schools have been identified in OSSE’s audit, including Langdon Elementary School, where severe testing violations occurred. OSSE informs me that 40 percent of the scores at Langdon Elementary Campus will be invalidated due to test tampering or academic fraud. This news is even more troubling given that Langdon Elementary School is slated to absorb additional students from the imminent closure of Thurgood Marshall Elementary School.

“This is not the first time that a Ward 5 school has been in the spotlight for testing irregularities. Test scores from the 2007-2008 school year at the Noyes Education Campus were flagged for irregularities. While I still have questions about the thoroughness of the Noyes investigation, I will be questioning DCPS about whether it has implemented the recommendations from the Inspector General’s August 8, 2012 report. With the finding of severe violations at Langdon Elementary Campus, we must question whether there is a systemic issue with testing integrity throughout the school system, or whether this is the action of a few bad actors.

“Underlying the issue of cheating is the question of what motivates individuals to manipulate test scores. We may need to reevaluate the weight given to standardized test scores in teacher evaluations. At the end of the day, if this evaluation mechanism is harming our students, we need to take action.”

The Council’s Committee on Education, will hold a Public Oversight Roundtable on the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System Testing Integrity Report for School Year 2011-2012 and Testing Integrity in District Schools. The oversight roundtable will be held on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 11 a.m., in room 120 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.



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