Posted: 12:00 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012

Suspect scores, substantiated cheating

Application by Emily Merwin
Data analysis by John Perry and M.B. Pell

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In the first installment of “Cheating Our Children,” last March, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution identified 196 school districts nationwide with highly unlikely changes in scores on state achievement tests. The odds of such changes occurring without intervention were no more than one in 1,000.
That analysis also identified several school districts with extreme concentrations of unusual gains or decreases in test scores. The pattern in those districts followed one that indicated widespread cheating in the Atlanta Public Schools. The odds of those scores were less than one in 1 billion.
Serious cheating cases have surfaced in those districts in recent years, the Journal-Constitution found by reviewing investigative files and other public documents. Below are details on eight districts with especially suspect scores, marked with the icon.

You can also use our searchable database to find test-score shifts for most of the country's school systems.