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School District Audits to Include Test Integrity

JEFFERSON CITY –– State Auditor Tom Schweich today announced that his office has been planning to look at test integrity when auditing school districts.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution released a report in July 2011 which alleged rampant standardized test cheating in the Atlanta public schools, and it recently released a report identifying suspicious test score phenomena across the nation, including possible irregularities at approximately 20 public schools in Missouri that meet its threshold for “suspect.”  The findings do not prove cheating occurred, they only identify schools with unexplained test score fluctuations which should be analyzed more closely.

In mid-February, Schweich notified the St. Louis Public Schools it would be the subject of an upcoming audit focused on a number of issues, including procurement practices, compliance with various district policies and information reporting.  Already included in this audit plan and the audit plans of other school districts scheduled for audits is a review to determine the adequacy of the school districts’ testing policies and procedures, the school districts’ compliance with those policies and procedures, and the school districts’ response to allegations of cheating or other testing improprieties.

The auditor’s office has not yet commenced the St. Louis Public Schools audit, but persons who would like to provide information during the audit process are encouraged to contact the state auditor’s office at 800-347-8597 or by email at moaudit@auditor.mo.gov.

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