Thursday, July 9, 2009

Governor Perdue Re: State Board of Education Accepting the Recommendations of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement

Governor Sonny Perdue issued the following statement today regarding the State Board of Education accepting the recommendations of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement:

“A thorough investigation by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement offers clear and convincing evidence of cheating, which was confirmed by the Georgia Center for Assessment’s independent erasure analysis. The GCA found that all 4 schools had significantly more erasures and changes to right answers than the comparison group. This spring’s CRCT scores offer further proof of wrongdoing, the pass rate at the schools whose students’ tests were altered went from 83 percent or higher in 2008 to 42 percent or lower in 2009.

I appreciate the strong reactions by school officials in DeKalb County and Glynn County who have shown they will not condone this behavior. However, it is outrageous that Atlanta Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall has simply ignored all of the evidence that Superintendent Cox, the State Board, the other systems, and I found so compelling. While Superintendent Hall attributes the gains to a ‘rigorous program’, there were flat gains from students of the 4 other schools that attended the same summer school as the students who had their tests altered.

In addition to the statistical improbability of their gains, the evidence that GOSA shared with Atlanta Public Schools showed: that the erasures were on average 3 times higher than the state average with at least one student having erasures 12 times higher than the state average, that the interviews with APS officials supported OSA’s conclusion, and that the students’ passage rate dropped from 88 percent on last summer’s retest to 42 percent on this year’s test.

I want to thank State Board of Education for accepting OSA’s recommendations to invalidate the summer retest results and ensure that the affected students get the help they need. They sent a clear message that cheating will not be tolerated in Georgia. The evidence is overwhelming and any reasonable person can see that cheating occurred and children were harmed.”
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