If you haven’t read the USA Today‘s weekend piece on out-of-the-ordinary test score gains, it’s worth your time. It’s a good piece, it’s well-reported, and they get some interesting stories (a teacher caught giving test questions to students beforehand had his license suspended, but only for only three months). But I’m left wondering if it’s all much ado about… not much, especially after seeing the graphic accompanying their companion piece out of the Detroit Free Press. According to the graphic, the reporters found 304 schools, out of 22,039 studied, less than 1.4 percent of schools, that had test score gains that may be indicative of cheating. For all the rhetoric about, “the mounting pressure on teachers, principals and superintendents to produce high scores,” this doesn’t seem like that high of a number.
Update: To be clear, the 304 out of 22,039 stat is a one-year snapshot of the states studied.