Hear no fraud, see no fraud

January 8, 2013

A shoddy investigation means allegations of testing fraud have lingered. (The Washington Post)

Try as everyone might to get past allegations of standardized test cheating in the D.C. Public Schools, more questions have popped up than answers. Adell Cothorne was principal of Noyes Education Campus, which had seen remarkable gains in test scores prior to her arrival. On an episode of “Frontline” set to air tonight, Cothorne said she witnessed school staff in a room full of student test books, holding erasers in a suspicious manner. And the Post’s Emma Brown reports Cothorne made even more serious claims in a federal lawsuit alleging “systemic” test fraud. Part of the problem is that the most ambitious investigation of the allegations, by D.C. Inspector General Charles Willoughby and his counterpart at the federal Education Department, shall we say, lacked rigor. Now a D.C. Council member is challenging Willoughby to explain himself — including why his investigators never talked to Cothorne.

In other news:

Irv Nathan gives budget autonomy referendum a piece of his mind (PostWaTimesWRC-TVExaminerDCist)

Phil Mendelson still isn’t sold on Gray’s cop hiring proposal (D.C. Wire)

Donald Trump is still trying to finagle a tax break for the Old Post Office hotel project (WBJ)

Skins, Skins, Skins, Skins, Skins (D.C. Wire)

Renewed talk of selling Federal City Shelter (StreetSense)

Jonetta Rose Barras: Don’t look to Phil Mendelson for strong leadership on ethics reform (Examiner)

Michelle Rhee’s nonprofit says D.C. education laws get a C+ — good enough for fourth in the country (D.C. Schools InsiderExaminer)

“You know who likes strict discipline policies? Parents.” (EduWonk)

Mother of South Capitol Street shootings victim has most of her civil lawsuit against D.C. government tossed by federal judge (Crime Scene)

DDOT says it will improve Metropolitan Branch Trail lighting (GGW)

Police flyer: Throwing rocks at buses is not okay (Dr. Gridlock)

How much did the NHL lockout cost the city? Who knows. (WBJ)

Never mind the radiation-finding helicopters (Crime Scene)

New Year’s Eve rape caught on parking garage camera (WaTimes)

Adams Morgan and U Street gain recognition for their arts-friendliness (WTOP)

The Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Park is now 160 years old (HuffPo)

Arnold & Porter will move east, to the old NPR site (Legal Times)

Washington Hospital Center cardiology program partners with Cleveland Clinic (WBJ)

Getting around during the inauguration will, of course, be a pain in the butt (Post)

Zoning meeting tonight in Ward 3; it should indeed be epic (GGW)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis | January 7, 2013