MCS Superintendent Calls School Testing Investigation Flawed

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UPDATE: Memphis City Schools is responding to a story we did yesterday about possible widespread cheating in several U.S.  School Districts.

In an email sent to News Channel 3 today, a MCS spokesperson wanted viewers to know they were never specifically mentioned in the Atlanta Journal Constitution article on testing and that MCS is not under any investigation.

As we reported yesterday, Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash did say the AJC findings are flawed and the school district would never tolerate any cheating.

News Channel three did report that an AJC database search of individual school districts does reveal those that have been flagged because of what it calls questionable performance levels.

(Memphis) A story by the Atlanta Journal Constitution reveals a troubling look at hundreds of schools districts around the country that may indicate widespread cheating.

Appearing on News Channel Three Live at 9, Kevin Riley, the newspaper’s editor, was asked what Memphis and other school districts might be up against, “Testing has become a cornerstone of our national education policy. It’s how schools are judged. It’s how principals are judged. This is high stakes.”

The newspaper said a typical non-cheating district might expect to have five percent of its classes flagged for unusual high performance.

It says districts with a ten percent or more of their classes flagged deserve closer examination.

A Memphis City Schools grandparent who only wanted to be identified as “Jackie” says cheating should not be tolerated, “Yes, that bothers me because if they’re not doing that well. they should be put on such a high standard.”

A database search of Memphis City Schools shows the district was above 10 percent.

Dr. Kenneth Whalum is a school board commissioner, “We need to look at Memphis even more so, especially now so that if there is an inherent culture of cheating to the test we need to know it now.”

In a letter sent last week to school board commissioners, Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash said MCS’s relentless research showed the newspaper’s reporting is fatally flawed and conducted without the consequences of false reporting on the districts.

Cash said MCS would never tolerate cheating of any kind and they stand in solidarity with other districts fighting false accusations.

Still, the national debate rages on.

Riley said, “If we can’t rely on the test, we really have to question whether our national education policy is working.”