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Duval School is Under Investigation by State for FCAT Testing

12:14 PM, Jun 20, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  Students from one Duval County school are the focus of a possible cheating probe involving the FCAT.

The state Department of Education sent out the same letter to 14 different school districts last week, including Duval County Public Schools.

The letter states a Utah company hired to analyze the FCAT answer sheets found "...extremely unusual levels of erasures" on answer sheets.

It cited a wrong-to-right answer rate that according to the letter, "... would be expected to occur once in a trillion times when tests are taken under standardized conditions."

Of the 14 districts affected, about 854 tests were flagged.

Duval County school board member Fred Lee said today that he does not think there is cheating problem. "I think it's something that happens periodically with this test and it's just part of the vetting process," said Lee.

District spokesperson Jill Johnson released a statement confirming eight students at one school are under investigation.

"As this is currently an ongoing investigation, we are unable to release the name of the school, however, following completion of the investigation, and if warranted, the district will take any appropriate action," said Johnson.

The state has ordered Duval County to, "....produce documentation and signed statements that address possible testing irregularities."

The district has to turn over information about testing conditions, test-security protocols and staff assignments.

The state said by law it cannot release any more information right now about the school or who is involved.

Duval County has 15 days to complete the investigation, but it can ask for more time if it is needed.

The district has been part of at least three investigations since 2004. Broward, Miami-Dad, Flagler, Gadsden, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lee, Leon, Manatee, Orange, Palm Beach, Polk and Seminole counties are all part of the current probe.  





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