USA Today published an investigation today into dramatic increases in test scores at Crosby S. Noyes Education Campus in Northeast D.C.
The turnaround earned Noyes a Department of Education designation as a National Blue Ribbon School and then-chancellor Michelle Rhee touted the school as a model of how reforms she advocated could transform the education system. But USA Today asks: Were the gains real?
“A closer look at Noyes...raises questions about its test scores from 2006 to 2010. Its proficiency rates rose at a much faster rate than the average for D.C. schools. Then, in 2010, when scores dipped for most of the district’s elementary schools, Noyes’ proficiency rates fell further than average.
A USA TODAY investigation, based on documents and data secured under D.C.’s Freedom of Information Act, found that for the past three school years most of Noyes’ classrooms had extraordinarily high numbers of erasures on standardized tests. The consistent pattern was that wrong answers were erased and changed to right ones.”
It’s not the first time questions about erasures have been raised at D.C. schools during Michelle Rhee’s tenure. Back in 2009, The Post wrote extensively about a city-commissioned probe of possible cheating on standardized tests at 26 public and public charter schools. The probe found “anomalies” in erasures at some schools, but the investigation was “ultimately inconclusive.”
Class Struggle: Take back that blue ribbon, Secretary Duncan
D.C. Wire: Nickles says erasure analysis wasn’t erased
D.C. Schools Insider: 2009 test scores for one elementary class tossed