FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION PRESS OFFICE
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION CONCLUDES INVESTIGATION OF FCAT IRREGULARITIES
- Process ensures accurate portrayal of student abilities -
Tallahassee, Fla., August 17, 2012 – The Florida Department of Education today announced the conclusion of an investigation into test anomalies on the 2011 administration of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. The investigation was focused on an unusually high number of erasures at four schools in Broward (Charter School of Excellence), Duval (Chaffee Trail Elementary), Gadsden (Greensboro Elementary), and Jefferson (Jefferson Elementary) counties.
The investigation by the department’s Office of Inspector General revealed that although the number of erasures on test answer documents was above the conservative threshold of one in a trillion when tests are taken under standardized conditions, a determination could not be made about the cause of the high number of wrong-to-right erasures at three of the four schools (Charter School of Excellence, Chaffee Trail Elementary, and Jefferson Elementary). Although evidence does not support that teachers at Greensboro Elementary altered student documents, statements taken during the investigation revealed they did coach or interfere with student responses during the administration of the FCAT.
Through its contract with Pearson, the 2011 spring administration of the FCAT and FCAT 2.0 was the first year the Department of Education utilized a sophisticated analysis of test answer documents by Caveon Data Forensics to identify atypical testing results. In May 2011, Caveon identified 25 instances of excessive erasures at 21 schools throughout the state and asked school districts to conduct internal investigations at the flagged schools to determine the cause. As a result of these school district investigations, all but the four schools mentioned above were cleared of any wrongdoing.
The Inspector General report is attached.
About the Florida Department of Education: The department’s mission is to increase the proficiency of all students within one seamless, efficient education system by providing them the chance to expand their knowledge and skills through world-class learning opportunities. Serving more than 3.5 million students, 4,200 public schools, 28 colleges, 188,000 teachers, 47,000 college professors and administrators, and 318,000 full-time staff throughout the state, the department enhances the economic self-sufficiency of Floridians through programs and services geared toward college, workforce education, job-specific skills and career development. Florida ranks first in the nation for teacher quality, first in the nation in advanced placement participation, and first in the southern region for graduation rate and degrees awarded by the Florida College System. For more information, visit www.fldoe.org http://www.fldoe.org .Tweet