Federal investigators announced Monday that they found no evidence of widespread cheating in D.C. Public Schools, despite detailed allegations of systematic cheating laid out in a whistleblower complaint by former Noyes Education Campus principal Adell Cothorne.
Now former D.C. Schools chancellor Michelle Rhee has released a statement in response to the federal investigators’ findings. She doesn’t comment on Cothorne’s complaint, which alleged that school employees
may have been driven to cheat by the promise of substantial cash bonuses.
Cothorne tells some details of the problems she saw at Noyes in a Frontline television documentary to be broadcast at 10 p.m. Tuesday.
Test scores rose in Washington during Rhee’s tenure as chancellor, but the District still has among the widest achievement gaps and lowest graduation rates in the country.
Rhee is now head of Students First, the lobbying organization she founded to spread the reforms she championed in D.C.
Here’s her statement:
“Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General announced that their investigation found no widespread cheating on the DC Comprehensive Assessment System tests from 2008-2010. This conclusion supports previous investigations and findings of the DC Office of the Inspector General and others. At StudentsFirst we believe it is incredibly important to take all allegations of wrongdoing seriously and we thank both offices for doing so. The results confirm what we’ve long believed, that the vast majority of educators would never compromise their personal or professional integrity to cheat on a test, thereby cheating children.
“With six separate, consecutive tests (both DC CAS and NAEP) showing significant improvements in academic achievement, we congratulate the children and educators in DC for their hard work and accomplishments.”