According to this article, high school students as Sacramento High School may have failed a state exam on purpose.
Sacramento High is in a state of limbo right now. It’s always been a tough school- about as “inner city” as it gets in Sacramento. Because they did not improve test scores, they face “reorganization”- which means anything from the whole staff being fired, to the school being taken over by a for profit organization. Right now nobody really knows what’s going to happen except that something big is going to change, and the needs of the students arn’t really the highest thing on the list when decideing what happens.
So then this story comes out. Apparenly the stats on test score look suspect. The white kids scores dropped 30%, while Latino and Asian scores rose and African-American scores dropped slightly. Some people allege that white students were failing the test intentionally, in order to force out the black principal. Other say that teachers purposefully downplayed the importance of the exam for the same reason.
What does this mean for the concept of school testing? Kids arn’t dumb, nor are teachers. It seems like they’ve quickly learned that test scores can be used for all kinds of manipulations. School testing is a fundamentally flawed concept because it reduces something as complex as a school to a set of numbers, and it mandates actions made up by people who are not professional educators and have little understanding of what is good or bad for students. I won’t be surprised to hear of a lot more cases like this.