Is this considered cheating on a state test?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by schoolteacher, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    A friend who works in my district told me that the test coordinator at her school asked her to send 10 of her students down for a make up session for our state standardized test.

    However, only 4 of those students were actually absent during the state tests. The others had skipped pages, or missed some questions.


    According to the instructions given to us as test administrators:

    DO NOT…

     Review student responses in the answer document.
     Review test booklets containing the test items.
     Assist in, direct, aid, counsel, encourage, or fail to report any of the actions prohibited in this section.


    She said that the test coordinator told her they were looking through each student's book to see who had missed any parts.

    She has to sign a statement that says she is not aware of any irregularities during the testing.

    I didn't know what to advise. What advice would you give her?
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I would consider that to be a testing irregularity, though I don't know for sure.
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I wouldn't consider it cheating though... but I would consider it to be an irregularity.

    She can probably feel safe in signing the statement though. Generally, that's intended to cover things you would report to the testing coordinator. Let the testing coordinator worry about their conscience when they have to sign their OWN statements.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    In my district they give us contact information for anonymous reporting if we don't feel comfortable reporting irregularities or cheating under our own names. Does her district have anything like that?

    I would absolutely think that she is responsible for reporting that irregularity. The language on that statement is probably about whether she is aware of any irregularities, not whether she personally witnessed or participated in any irregularities. She is aware of this. She needs to report it, either anonymously or through regular channels. I admit that I'm not sure about the legality of this, but personally I would never risk my job and/or teaching license over this, especially if I did nothing wrong. I think that she certainly has an ethical obligation to report.
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I would refuse to send the students who were not absent. In my state, that would be cheating and we have instructions that specifically address that issue. We are not even supposed to look at the test once the student opens it.

    Of course, I am not a new teacher worried about my job if I followed through on this. In that case, I would anonymously report the testing coordinator.
     
  7. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    That is absolutely not okay in California. Even if nobody had looked at it kids are not allowed to go back to any section of the test after the day it is administered to that student.
     
  8. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I would consider it cheating.
     
  9. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Apr 4, 2014

    I can't speak for your state, naturally, but in my experience, it's not an issue. I'd tell her to sign the statement. It's been routine to make sure each student completes every section of the test. It's not like there's cheating or coaching going on, it's a matter of getting a fair and accurate score by completing the entire test.

    She'll only gain a spot on the administrators' "enemy list" by raising a ruckus.


    ;)
     
  10. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    As much as I hate to say this (I hate testing), part of the fair and accurate score depends upon the time limits of the test being followed, as well as the responsibility of the students to complete the test properly.
     
  11. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    :eek:hmy:

    It's a standardized test...with time limits. Unless these students do not have an IEP stating that they get extra time to complete tests, they should not be given a second chance to go back and better their score. Sure they will have a more accurate score if they completed the entire test but unfortunately it's an assessment on what they could do within the specified time limit.

     
  12. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    So it would be more fair for a child to fail the test and, depending on the state/district/school, be retained, be put through intensive remediation causing them to give up recess/science/social studies/before and after school time, be looked at for special education services, or other negative consequences because they accidentally turned two pages instead of one?

    For all the problems with computer testing, I definitely see it as a benefit that I can see whether or not a student answered all the questions without actually seeing their answers.
     
  13. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I agree with you.
     
  14. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I'm in the same state as swansong - we can't look at their books/computer screens. It would absolutely be a violation to have kids go back and finish the test.
     
  15. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    That would definitely be considered cheating in my school/state. Proctors are supposed to be "actively proctoring" during the test to ensure this doesn't happen and can discreetly tell children to be careful if they notice they're skipping/making errors on scantrons. Once the test is over and their time limit is up they cannot have the test back to fix anything. It's not fair at all.
     
  16. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Not considered cheating, but it would be a testing irregularity and would need to be reported. The instructions are very clear that even if the mistakes were discovered during the actual testing, all you can tell the student is to make sure that they have bubbled everything in correctly.
     
  17. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    In my state we are specifically not allowed to point out to kids if they have missed pages or not answered questions. This would count as a "misadministration" and they would get a 0. They also get a 0 if they go on to a new section of the test- we're not even allowed to stop them before they start if we see it happening. It's very frustrating, because as another poster mentioned, if they miss pages, their score doesn't accurately reflect what they know. The test is supposed to be measuring their content knowledge, not their ability to navigate a test. Our younger students especially are not used to taking tests with so many pages, or used to a setting where their teacher wouldn't point it out to them if they missed a question.
     
  18. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    The directions in the original post specifically state this is not allowed.

    It wouldn't be allowed in my state and we are not allowed to give individual reminders to students.

    I could not, in good conscience, sign a statement saying there were no testing irregularities.
     
  19. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    I think she can sign the statement. I found it online. She is only certifying HER actions, not that of the test coordinator:

    Maintaining the security and integrity of all assessment materials, preventing any dishonest or fraudulent behavior
    in the administration and handling of the assessment, and promoting a fair and equitable testing environment
    are essential in order to obtain reliable and valid student scores. In that regard, I certify the following:
    Prior to the administration of the assessment, I completed the Pennsylvania State Test Administration Training,
    and I understand that the assessment materials are secure, confidential, and proprietary documents owned by
    the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
    I have not reviewed, discussed, disseminated, described, or otherwise revealed the contents of the assessment to
    anyone. I have not removed any assessment materials from the school building unless I was specifically authorized
    to administer the assessment to a student on homebound instruction. I have not kept, copied, reproduced,
    released, or used any assessment, assessment question, specific assessment content, or examinee response to
    any item or any section of the secure assessment in any manner that is inconsistent with the instructions provided
    by or through the Pennsylvania Department of Education. I have not provided any examinee with an answer to
    an assessment question or in any way influenced an examinee’s response to any assessment question. I have not
    in any manner altered or caused the alteration of any examinee response, assessment booklet, or papers used by
    examinees.
    I understand that any breach in assessment security could result in the invalidation of assessment results,
    professional discipline, and/or criminal prosecution.
    I understand that false statements herein are made subject to the penalties of 18 Pa.C.S. § 4904.
     
  20. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I would think sending students who already took the test to the other coordinator as a breach of this assertion because she is aware of the reason the coordinator wants the children sent.

    Yes, it would be cheating.
     
  21. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    It is a violation in my state (Virginia). It would be reported as a testing irregularity by my school and the teacher would be reprimanded.
     
  22. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I think it really depends on the school/district as to whether this is cheating ... And, that's all I'm going to say about that.
     
  23. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    May I suggest that you advise your friend to contact someone who does know the rules? Perhaps someone on the district or state level? Even if your friend needs to do so anonymously, they can still obtain the information and proceed from there.

    Personally, I find it cheating and by signing the form, I would personally feel complicit. However, it is just an opinion I offer, not a judgement on anyone who might feel or advise differently. :)
     
  24. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Pretty sure in Fla everyone loses their job within a mile of this action and a firing squad is probable. The protocols, rules and security are borderline double secret probation like here in fla. Sign in sign out, dont look dont touch dont move dont even have a break before the time is up. Just last week we had to do a practice test for 70 minutes and the children had to work THE entire 70 minutes to simulate it. My kid was done in 15 minutes and was in trouble. He made 97 percentile on the FAIR testing. He knew it was for nothing and like me takes tests very fast.
     
  25. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    We have to do this scenario every two weeks all year. Our kids are SOOOOO tested out. I don't expect many of them to take the real test very seriously.
     
  26. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Swan, we've been practice testing since Middle of February. School is locked down, no movement in the hallways, from 8-11 3 days a week, no specials, recess. It's gruelling. Kids are tested out. Practice Parcc assessment with 3rd and 4th graders last week 2 days, testing starts at 8 a.m kids finished 2:30 p.m. on timed tests. Our server couldn't handle it and kept timing the kids out. These are 8 and 9 year olds. I just don't know what to do. I know this is wrong. It's not the standard s but the assessments. And they are expensive too. I keep hearing this will all be worked out, but this is the only time these kids will be in the third and fourth grade.
     
  27. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    And to add, in our district this would be cheating. Our kids aren't even suppose to leave the room during testing.
     
  28. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    The only redeeming factor in this whole testing mess will be for the 32 students that will be testing in my room. I am testing students who receive accommodations and I take full advantage of that! We take lots of stretch breaks , I chunk the test, we have a restroom in the room, etc. We take a lot longer than other classes to test but my kids feel more relaxed about it.

    Unfortunately, the gen ed kids in my regular class will be testing in other teacher's rooms and they won't get the accommodations.
     
  29. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    If the test is timed then this would be considered cheating. In my state that test coordinator and possibly anyone else who knew about the cheating would have their teaching license revoked. Having a kid do slightly better on a test is not worth my career.
     
  30. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Yes. Actually, students are not allowed to go back to a section of the after they have left for an extended break or have declared themselves finished. An examiner is allowed to offer a student extended time within the testing day if it appears that the student has not had time to answer all the questions in the section that is currently being administered.

    Also, examiners are not allowed to review a students answers. A flip through the test booklet to make sure proper demographics have been filled out is all that's allowed.

    Technically, what you've described is a testing incident that should be reported. It's quite serious and the people involved could lose their credentials.

    Is it possible, however, that that what you saw was students starting a new section of the test that they missed completely? Sections of a test can be take on different testing days ...
     
  31. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    The same is true in our state.

    My friend knows that at least 6 of the students did not miss any tests. When she questioned them, they told her that they had missed a few questions or a few pages in a section.

    My friend told me that she decided not to say anything. She did nothing wrong, because when she was asked to send the students down, she had no knowledge as to whether or not they had missed tests - they were not in her homeroom.

    Of course, now she knows. But she will not take steps that will end in having someone lose their teaching license. She will sign the statement, because it certifies that she has done everything she was supposed to do.

    I respect her decision. I'm sure it was a tough one to make.
     
  32. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    And this is one of the many reasons the public no longer respects teachers. They turn a blind eye to unethical behavior and other teachers support their decision.
     
  33. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    In this situation, I agree a2z.
     
  34. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Unfortunately (for the OP), if this had happened in my state and word had gotten out...kids do talk...The OP would now be considered as at fault as well.

    These kinds of things are taken way seriously here.
     
  35. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I'd consider it much more unethical to subject a student to a year-long period of intense remediation or retention because they skipped a page in a test.
     
  36. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I will go a step further if you want. We are ALL now implicated because we know and are not reporting it. :rolleyes:

    So do we march lockstep with the testing protocols or have some common sense? What a dilemma. Oh wait, common sense left years ago. Let's go test some more.
     
  37. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Actually, we aren't because we have no idea who the person is or what school it is happening at. So, we are not implicated.

    I'm not sure how you think it is possible to reach that far. If OP will give me her real name, school, friend's name, school, testing coordinator, etc, I'll gladly report it. But I don't have any real information to report.
     
  38. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Yes, testing protocols are completely illogical and don't exist for any defensible reason...

    Seriously. What is wrong with people?
     
  39. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    They exist for a reason... but I'd still consider putting a child through intense academic intervention (required by law in New York), retention (Ohio and Florida), or other negative consequences (pretty much everywhere) because they skipped a page and failed as a consequence in a test to be a more unethical outcome than having the student go back and do those pages. I consider myself fortunate that I'm in a situation where I can see for sure that my students have answered every question before they submit though, so that I'll never run into this type of quandary.
     
  40. TripleTeach

    TripleTeach Rookie

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    In our state, we could lose our job for knowingly participating in this practice. The language is clear about not looking at student tests.
     
  41. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Imagine. TEACHERS of all people are NOT allowed to look at THEIR student's tests. We are NOT to be trusted. Makes you wonder who is "really in charge". Politicians have done an excellent job of undermining and relegating teachers to just clerks in charge of whatever the the buzz word is today. Excuse my cynicism but it is early and my soap box was handy.
     

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