APS: Suspicious test scores in schools nationwide | Schools
ATLANTA - The cheating scandal that rocked the Atlanta Public School system is apparently just one small part of a larger national epidemic.
An Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation analyzed more than 1.5 million standardized tests from 69,000 schools nationwide.
The AJC found nearly 200 districts had "suspicious scores" that "resemble those that entangled Atlanta".
The cities with improbable test score gains included the school districts of Los Angeles, Baltimore, Detroit, Houston and Dallas.
The latest report gives the rest of the nation is getting a taste of what Atlanta has dealt with for a few years when the newspaper first reported on determined statistical improbabilities with Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) scores.
A state investigation into APS last year implicated nearly 180 teachers in 44 schools.
So far, about 70 teachers have resigned or retired.
Earlier this month, Damany Lewis, a 7th grade teacher at Parks Middle School, went before a tribunal and became the first in the scandal to be fired.
Lewis admitted to state investigators to opening tests booklets using a heated razor blade and changing wrong answers to right.
Now, that dozens of others districts are under a similar dark cloud, the newest APS board member, Byron Amos said he's not surprised to learn of problems in other cities because of the pressure for improving test scores.
"I feel sorry for the systems that are now beginning to come out and I would never pass judgment on their systems, because everyone has their own house to attend to," said Byron Amos, Vice Chairman of the APS Board of Education. "I feel sadness for them because I know the bad light it shined on the city of Atlanta, but more importantly, the bad light in shined on our kids that had absolutely nothing to do with the cheating scandal. Unfortunately, it was the adults who cheated. Our children did exactly what we asked them to do."