Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom



Teacher Cheating In Indiana? What Happened On The Spring ISTEP+


On March 30, three Indiana Department of Education leaders, including the state’s top testing official, published a memo. They said, essentially, we need to set in stone some statewide rules about how teachers give tests properly.

The reason they wanted to make these rules is because allegations that teachers had “violated proper testing procedures” during the Spring 2011 ISTEP+ exam had come to light. The memo outlined 11 of the claims:

  • Three teachers are accused of teaching specific lessons after seeing the test.
  • One teacher is accused of creating a study guide copying problems directly from a 2009 test booklet. Another created practice problems that “modeled actual test items.”
  • Two teachers are accused of telling students to change their responses — at least one of whom disputes the allegations against her.
  • Two teachers are accused of disseminating essay prompts before the test, including one posted verbatim to Facebook.
  • One teacher passed out copies of the tests for students to study before administering the exam.
  • One teacher “used a document camera to project test items on the screen and underlined or circled key words throughout the test.”

What do you think? Does this amount to cheating? If not, does it still cross the line?

Latest Posts

Why There Will Always Be Some Teachers Who Cheat

In light of the standardized test cheating scandal in Atlanta — as well as incidents we’ve written about in Indiana — UNC professor Gregory Cizek offered some perspective in an Education Week editorial: As long as important educational decisions are informed in part by test results, cheating will occur. It’s a huge mistake, however, to […]

Did Teacher Break The Rules When Giving The ISTEP? (And What Are The Rules?)

A former fourth grade teacher at Southwest Allen County Schools says her district wrongly accused her of giving students answers to problems on the state’s standardized test, the ISTEP+, forcing her into early retirement. In addition to the cheating claims, the district alleged in a March letter the teacher, Laura Farner, told students, “If you don’t pass […]

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »