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Handling Allegations of Educator Cheating in State Testing . Tina Sciocchetti, Executive Director John Czajka , Counsel New York State Test Security Unit MASLA Annual Conference Lake Placid July 16, 2013. NYSED Test Security Unit.

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handling allegations of educator cheating in state testing

Handling Allegations of Educator Cheating in State Testing

Tina Sciocchetti, Executive Director

John Czajka, Counsel

New York State Test Security Unit

MASLA Annual Conference Lake Placid

July 16, 2013

nysed test security unit
NYSED Test Security Unit
  • Established March 2012 after Special Investigator reviewed NYSED protocols
  • August 2012 - fully operational
  • Mandate: handle and resolve statewide educator cheating and test security matters; enhance state test security policies, training, and protocols
test security unit staff
TEST SECURITY UNIT STAFF
  • Two former prosecutors
  • Four investigators with combined 85 years of state and federal law enforcement experience
  • Dedicated IT support to create on-line, web-based processes
test administration by the numbers
Test Administration by the Numbers
    • Grades 3-8 ELA & Math (2012)
    • Approx. 1.2 million administered
    • Approx. 4,400 schools
  • Regents (Aug. 2010, Jan/Jun 2011)
    • Approx. 2 million administered
    • Approx. 2,700 schools
ways educators cheat
Ways Educators Cheat
  • Retaining 3-8 tests and field tests, using for next exam
  • Opening test materials before designated time
  • Pre- and mid-exam lessons based on review of test content
  • Distributing cheat sheets, formulas, definitions before test
  • Giving a student more time to take test
  • Defining words, concepts, or questions, on test
  • Using voice inflection or physical gestures to cue answers
  • Coaching a student during testing
  • Allowing a student to alter exam answers post-admin
  • Altering a student’s answers after test handed in
  • Filling in blank bubbles left by students
  • Adding points to a student’s test score to help student pass
  • Altering a student’s test score during recording/reporting
  • Coordinated exclusion/suspension of poor test takers
  • Encouraging low performers to stay home during testing
intake of allegations
Intake of Allegations
  • Website: www.highered.nysed.gov/tsei
  • Email: TSU@mail.nysed.gov
  • Office of State Assessments (OSA)
  • Other SED sources (Waste, Fraud and Abuse, OSPRA)
  • Public sources (review of blogs, news accounts, legislative/executive referrals)
integrity officer network
Integrity Officer Network
  • 37 BOCES and Big 5 designees, often the District Superintendent
    • www.highered.nysed.gov/tsei/iolist
  • Specialized training from TSU
  • Dedicated TSU Investigator assigned to each IO (on regional basis)
  • “Boots on the ground” for cheating reports, securing evidence, investigation
  • Districts kept better informed about cheating allegations/disposition of cases
  • Portal for new policies and regional training
typical test security investigation
Typical Test Security Investigation
  • New matter assigned to TSU investigator
  • Investigator works with Integrity Officer and District Counsel to develop investigative plan
  • Evidence secured and stored
  • Joint interviews, if possible
  • Forensic analysis and review of historical testing data
  • Review of prior disciplinary history for educator and school (including search of test fraud database)
  • TSU role in investigation depends on nature and scope of alleged improprieties
key evidence
Key Evidence
  • Test books and answer sheets for all students tested (preserve schoolwide)
  • Proctor assignments, seating charts
  • Proctor/scorer certificates
  • Scoring assignments and instructions
  • Crib sheets, scrap papers, testing aids
  • Test administration training records (in-service materials, emails to staff)
  • Student transcripts, IEP plans
  • Disciplinary records for educator(s)
district io tsu coordination
District/IO/TSU Coordination
  • Goal: independent, professional investigations with oversight by IO and TSU
  • Avoid duplicative interviews, disruption to district
  • Communication concerning potential disciplinary action(s) (Part 83, 3020-a, local sanctions)
  • Possible global resolutions for district and state, concurrent penalties
public notice
Public Notice
  • TSU is required to give annual public report of its activities and outcomes of investigations, including confirmed test fraud cases
  • Public disclosure of SED testing audits (e.g., erasure analysis), as appropriate, also required
  • Districts required to report on test integrity issues, including disclosure of confirmed allegations
    • Mandated reporting of educator fraud cases by school personnel
    • Corrective Action Plans
best practices
Best Practices
  • Report known instances of alleged cheating immediately (web best portal)
  • Identify witnesses, including all students and adults in room
  • Secure evidence, including test booklets (do not send to destruction)
  • Consult with TSU or IO before beginning an investigation
  • If investigation already started, collect all notes/reports
handling allegations of educator cheating in state testing1

Handling Allegations of Educator Cheating in State Testing

Tina Sciocchetti, Executive Director

John Czajka, Counsel

New York State Test Security Unit

MASLA Annual Conference Lake Placid

July 16, 2013