Test Cheats

By: Mark Hyman

A recent report has confirmed that cheating in public schools is up.  Way, way up.

By school officials.  (Examples are here, here, here, here & here.)

The Government Accountability Office conducted an investigation of the administration of standardized tests given to students nationwide.

In 40 states there were allegations of cheating in the past two years.  In 33 states there were confirmed at least one instance of cheating.  32 states nullified test scores as a result of cheating.

School officials are cheating on exams in order to turn-in better test results to high-ups.  Much of this is driven by the No Child Left Behind legislation which ties federal funding to test scores.

The ever-expanding role of the federal government in public education hasn’t been a good one.  About the time the Department of Education was created began a downward trend in public education performance.  Coincidence?  Probably not.

The US ranks 22nd  among 27 industrialized nations in high school graduation rate.  After World War II we were ranked #1. [Detailed report "Education at a Glance 2012" by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development provides significant data.]

We rank 14th in reading.  17th in science.  25th in math.

2 out of 3 eighth-graders cannot read proficiently.  3 out of 4 can’t write proficiently.  It’s the same for 12th graders.

And it’s getting worse.  [For example, math proficiency standards are here.  A quick facts sheet is here.]

The U.S. spends more money per student than any other nation.  And has less to show for it.

Abolish the Department of Education and return control to local communities.

About The Author Mark Hyman:
Mark Hyman hosts "Behind the Headlines," a commentary program for Sinclair Broadcast Group.

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