Suspicious Test Scores

The Hechinger Report, USA TODAY and several other news outlets partnered to investigate the standardized test scores of millions of students in six states and the District of Columbia. The investigation identified 1,610 examples of statistically rare, perhaps suspect, gains on state tests. See all our Special Reports

Does using high-stakes tests to fire teachers improve student outcomes?

Study finds high teacher turnover is not always harmful to students

Most states don’t routinely scrutinize test erasures

By Marisol Bello and Greg Toppo, USA TODAY Fewer than half the states routinely analyze suspicious numbers of erasures on standardized school tests, a key method of detecting cheating…

D.C. to dig deeper on test score irregularities

By Jack Gillum, Marisol Bello and Scott Elliott, USA TODAY "The integrity of test scores is perhaps more important to us than any other district because we use…

In Georgia, test-answer erasures triggered criminal probe

By Jack Gillum and Marisol Bello, USA TODAY Kathleen Mathers oversees investigations of cheating in Georgia schools. (Photo by By Ben Gray, Atlanta Journal Constitution) The same…

When standardized test scores soared in D.C., were the gains real?

By Jack Gillum and Marisol Bello, USA TODAY Marvin Tucker raised questions about high test scores of daughter Marlana, right, now 16, that showed math proficiency despite…

The search for a new way to test kids

By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY Investigators found "clear, statistical evidence" of cheating on state tests at George Washington Elementary, a Blue Ribbon School, in Baltimore. (Photo by By…

For teachers, many ways and reasons to cheat on tests

By Jodi Upton, Denise Amos and Anne Ryman, USA TODAY George Washington Carver Academy Principal Celestine Sanders peeks in a classroom. The Highland Park, Mich., charter school…

Support
Our
Mission

Hi. Thanks to your support, we provide the best education coverage in the country.

Donate

After cheating scandal, school learns lessons in taking tests

By Chastity Pratt Dawsey, Peggy Walsh-Sarnecki and Kristi Tanner-White of the Detroit Free Press Second-grade teacher Eileen Seawood supervises a writing assignment at George Washington Carver Academy last…

Detroit Free Press: Michigan to review suspect school test scores

The Michigan Department of Education said Monday it has launched a review of MEAP test scores after an analysis by the Free Press found improvements at 34 schools statewide last…

When test scores are too good to be true

Charles Seipelt Elementary School's gains and losses are typical of a pattern uncovered by a USA TODAY investigation of the standardized tests of millions of students in six…