For Immediate Release: May 14, 2014
MDE to Conduct In-depth Investigation, Strengthen Policies Related to Cheating Allegations
JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) will conduct an in-depth investigation into cheating allegations at Heidelberg Elementary in the Clarksdale Municipal School District. In addition, the MDE will examine current practices and procedures to ensure appropriate action is taken when test irregularities occur.
“We take allegations of cheating or testing irregularities seriously because ultimately such behavior is a disservice to students and their parents,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “We are going to scrutinize current practices and protocols to ensure that gold standard processes are in place.”
A report of testing irregularities from the 2012 assessments flagged 17 schools. The MDE had auditors at all of the schools flagged during the administration of the Mississippi Curriculum Test (MCT2) this week.
In addition, the MDE will review current accreditation policies in order to recommend to the Mississippi Board of Education a policy that could place an individual school on accreditation probation, which would impact district accreditation. Current policy allows only a district to be placed on probation for violation of accreditation policies.
“We are encouraging anyone with first-hand information of any cheating or testing irregularities in any school district to immediately contact the MDE’s Office of Student Assessment,” Wright said.
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