Scores Plunged After Cheating Exposed at Dallas School

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Umphrey Lee Elementary was rated one of the best schools in Dallas before the district determined that teachers had cheated on standardized tests.

    Dallas ISD investigators said Umphrey Elementary School cheated its way to being recognized as one of the best schools in the city.

    Read more from The Dallas Morning News.

    In a statement released Thursday, the Dallas Independent School District said: 

    DISD School Cheating Scandal

    [DFW] DISD School Cheating Scandal
    Dallas ISD investigators said Umphrey Elementary School cheated its way to being recognized as one of the best schools in the city.

    "Dallas ISD strives to maintain the integrity of all assessments given in the district. As part of this effort, Dallas ISD’s Office of Evaluation and Assessment runs a regular statistical analysis of all state-administered assessments to identify any irregularities. When irregularities are identified, further investigation is conducted.

    During a summer 2013 review of 2012-2013 STAAR results, Dallas ISD’s Office of Evaluation and Accountability (E&A) found irregularities in the scores for Umphrey Lee Elementary. E&A further investigated the irregularities and based on their findings, turned the investigation over to the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) who interviewed staff members and collected additional evidence. As a result of the E&A/OPR investigation, seven staff members resigned in fall 2013. The Texas Education Agency was notified of the irregularities when they were first identified early in the summer of 2013 and the final findings of the investigation were shared with them in October 2013.

    The then-principal of Lee Elementary is no longer employed by Dallas ISD. As the district does not discuss personnel matters, we will not comment on any employee involved in this situation.

    It is important to note that Dallas ISD does not have the authority to invalidate test results; only TEA has that authority. To date, TEA has not invalidated any student test scores related to Umphrey Lee.

    Dallas ISD is committed to holding our students and our staff to high expectations. The District will continue to proactively review exam results, investigate irregularities, and take action when concerns are substantiated to ensure that the results are an accurate reflection of student performance."

    And in a statement Thursday, a spokesperson for the Texas Education Agency said:

    "The student assessment division of the Texas Education Agency currently has an open investigation involving allegations of testing irregularities at Umphrey Lee Elementary. We are still gathering evidence so students' scores have not been invalidated. If our assessment area finds enough evidence to suggest that educators violated the rules, the case will be turned over to our educator investigations area, which will decide whether to pursue some kind of sanctions against the educators. The severest sanction that can be administered is the revocation of the teaching certificate.

    While we have invalidated student test scores before when cheating occurred, this investigation is not far enough along to determine whether that could happen here."