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MDE Hires National Firm to Investigate Clarksdale Cheating Allegations

by Patrice Guilfoyle | May 19, 2014

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: May 19, 2014

MDE Hires National Firm to Investigate Clarksdale Cheating Allegations

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education has hired Utah-based Caveon Test Security to investigate cheating allegations at Heidelberg School in the Clarksdale Municipal School District. Caveon Test Security is recognized as the only full-service test security organization that has national experience and expertise in the industry.

“I want this investigation to be conducted in an efficient, orderly, and systematic manner in order to ensure due process and allow for outcomes that are accurate, fair and beyond reproach,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.

Over the years, Caveon has worked closely with a large number of states and districts to assist them with comprehensive and thorough audits of their testing programs and analyses of test data to ensure trustworthy test results. Test security data analyses have been conducted by Caveon in several states, including Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Kentucky and North Carolina.

Caveon also has been involved in several high profile investigations of testing irregularities and possible cheating – in particular, work performed in 2010-11 for the State of Georgia and the Atlanta Public Schools, and work performed in both 2009-10 and 2010-11 for the District of Columbia Public School. Caveon’s work on these two programs was crucial to help uncover cases of unethical behavior in both places.

“The allegations made against Heidelberg are serious and demand a full investigation. However, the MDE will not prejudge the outcome. We will reserve comments about potential consequences for the school or district until the investigation is complete,” Wright said.

The MDE will release findings from Caveon’s work after a comprehensive investigation is completed.

Anyone with information about testing irregularities or cheating in a school district may contact the MDE Office of Student Assessment at (601) 359-3052.

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