Students given extra test time for their high-stakes exams

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In two consecutive years, a principal of a middle school in New York, allegedly ordered teachers to give students up to twice the amount of allowed time for their English and Math state exams. The investigation surrounding the cheating incidents began last spring and so far officials have found that five teachers gave students double the allowed amount of time in the English and Math exams in 2012 and 2013.

Evidence indicates that students were taking their high-stakes exams from morning till lunchtime as opposed to the prescribed 90 minutes timeframe. While only special education students were eligible for extra time at this school, the principal commanded teachers that entire classes were given double time.

The more popular hypothesis is that the principal resorted to this behavior in order to ensure the school would receive performance bonuses based on students’ scores on the Common Core exams — something that seems to have been associated with other cheating scandals.

Despite the principal refusing the evidence, students taking the 2012 and 2014 do recall being given extra time for their exams.

ProctorFree observes that behaviors associated with cheating or academic integrity can be prevented with the right technology and training. Non-invasive, subtle exam monitoring for instance, could easily discourage such behavior in the future.

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