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Comments of the week: Dealing with cheating in NYC schools

The second to last week of August is a time when many teachers and principals are soaking up their last few days of summer to relax. But our readers stayed close enough to the Internet to check in and many of them found a couple of stories that compelled them speak up in the comments section.

As a reminder, each Friday we highlight a sampling of the most thoughtful, substantive, and informed comments that readers left on the week’s news articles. We believe that a constructive conversation in the comments section helps us meet our goal of elevating public dialogue about education.

On Wednesday morning, we broke a story about a shrinking test monitoring program that the education department runs to deter cheating. It chronicled how other test security measures have been shelved by education officials and one reader, “Tim”, said there was a common sense solution to systematically cut down on misconduct:

“[I]t remains incredibly frustrating that the simplest, potentially most effective barrier to cheating — having teachers from a different school administer the exams — is off-limits for some reason.”

The monitoring program targeted some schools suspected of cheating and test scores dropped considerably when monitors visited to enforce security guidelines. “Pogue” suggested that these incidents weren’tisolated and the effect of something more systemic:

“When tests are used as punitive measures, cheating will surely occur.”

“East Sider” wrote that, in some ways, a lack of funds for the program is a problem that came from the Bloomberg administration’s restructuring of the school system under mayoral control:

In the bad old pre-Klein days the entire district office and other staff was trained and dispersed to every school in the district during the state tests at NO COST!! From the time the shrink wrap was opened to the time the completed papers were picked up someone from the district was on site.

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