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Posted: February 17, 2010 12:01 a.m.

NCSS cleared of any wrongdoing in CRCT cheating scandal

All Newton County schools have been cleared of any wrongdoing after a state analysis of the 2009 Criterion-Referenced Competency Test was done following allegations of cheating in other school systems.
The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement had every 2009 answer sheet reviewed and from that compiled a list of 74 schools with the highest number of classrooms with questionable erasures from wrong to right. Newton County schools were not on that list.
According to a press release from the GOSA, the analysis focused on the number of wrong answers that had been erased and changed to right answers on each individual student answer sheet in reading, language arts and mathematics. 
There were nine classrooms initially flagged in the search, amounting to 0.9 percent of schools in the system, with the highest percentage of classes flagged at Clements Middle School with 2.90 percent of classes flagged. Other schools with flagged classes were Heard-Mixon, East Newton, Middle Ridge, Rocky Plains, West Newton and South Salem Elementary Schools and Veterans Memorial and Cousins Middle Schools.
However, all of the schools were cleared of any wrongdoing.
  “The analysis looked on average at 125,000 test takers in every subject and grade level at which the CRCT was administered and provided a clear picture of typical student test behavior against which all schools could be compared,” said GOSA Executive Director, Kathleen Mathers. “Our recommendations are intended to eliminate future problems and help students who have been adversely affected by test tampering.”
 Eighty percent of the states elementary and middle schools fell into the “clear” category, meaning less than 6 percent of the classes in the school were flagged, Newton County were among these schools, with a classroom flag range between o and 2.9 percent.
 “Important decisions will be made from this data that are critical to the future of Georgia’s children,” said GOSA Deputy Director Eric Wearne in the release. “Overall, Georgia’s schools are performing well and continue to excel in student achievement.”
A complete list of Georgia schools and their CRCT analysis results are available on the GOSA Web site,
www.gaosa.
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