Longtime readers may remember all my stories in 2004-05 about cheating on the TAKS, the state standardized test here in Texas. Some state officials said my stories — which found evidence that hundreds of Texas schools may be cheating — exaggerated the size of the problem. To check it out for themselves, they hired a test-security firm to look for cheaters.
Which is prologue for my story on the front page today:
About one in 12 Texas schools had unusual TAKS results that suggest cheating occurred last year, according to a consultant hired by the Texas Education Agency.
The consultant, a Utah test security firm named Caveon, was hired after a Dallas Morning News series found suspicious scores in nearly 400 schools statewide, based on 2003 and 2004 testing results.
Caveon’s analysis, using 2005 TAKS results, found even more: 609 schools, or 8.6 percent of the state’s campuses.