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Atlanta Educators Fired for Cheating

CheatingA Georgia state commission voted to revoke the licenses of eight Atlanta Public Schools teachers and three administrators, imposing the first sanctions in one of the nation’s largest test cheating scandals. The decision stems from a state investigation, released in July, that revealed high numbers of wrong-to-right erasures in nearly half of the district’s 100 schools dating as far back as 2001.

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Math SAT Scores Down Slightly

Math TestBLUESAT math scores for the Class of 2011 dropped a point nationally this year and have barely budged for a decade. Reading scores, meanwhile, fell three points this year and have dropped 33 points from 1972 levels. The College Board says the growing number of test takers includes many who are less prepared for college or learning English as a second language.

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Cheating Scandal Roils Atlanta Schools

Looking for AnswersAn investigation of Atlanta Public Schools has uncovered such widespread cheating on state tests that writers of the 428-page report ran out of synonyms for cheating. Some 44 schools and 178 educators were named in the probe, with teachers now facing termination and doubt spreading about impressive gains in student achievement that helped the former superintendent become 2009 superintendent of the year.

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Feature: Finland, A Model for Success

FinlandFinland enjoys a surprising claim to fame: world-class K-12 education. Only a handful of nations come close to matching Finland in math, science, and literacy, and none boasts such uniformly high achievement rates across regions and income levels. How could the country produce 15-year-olds on par with Asia’s whiz kids? The answer may reside in teacher training and approach.

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States Crack Down on Test Tampering

CheatingIn response to cheating, many states and school districts are tightening test security, USA Today reports. Texas distributes 14 steps staff must follow during test administration and warns that state investigators will ferret out cheaters. In other places, educators are experimenting with different ways to test what kids learn.

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Cheating to the Test?

Scantron Bubble TestWith the stakes for educators growing ever higher — and the majority of American schools somewhere on the “failing” listUSA Today examined years’ worth of individual student test results from six states and the District of Columbia to investigate the incidence of cheating. The results were disheartening.

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Most U.S. Students Not Proficient in Science

Proficiency MapScores released January 25 from the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress show that many U.S. students still struggle in science. Just 34 percent of fourth graders, 30 percent of eighth graders, and 21 percent of 12th graders are performing at or above ‘proficient’ – with just a tiny fraction displaying the advanced skills that could lead to careers in science and technology.

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Is There an AP Overload?

Taking a TestNationwide, the number of students taking AP tests has surged 50 percent in the last five years. For those who hope to attend selective colleges, it’s the norm. But when a Harrisburg, Pa.-area school district sought to introduce an AP course in ninth grade, some parents balked.

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Shanghai Teens are Tops in Math, Reading and Science

Chinese EducationShanghai 15-year-olds scored No. 1 in a major international math, science and reading test, beating students in dozens of countries, and did particularly well in math. American students placed “in the middle of the pack,” says an Education Department official.

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