Dr. John Fremer, Caveon Test Security
March Edition
A Tale of Two Cities
Avoiding a School District Cheating Scandal
School districts and other local education agencies are increasingly required to meet rigorous assessment security standards for the administration of high-stakes state and local assessments. Despite the best efforts of local testing staff, school districts may face test security breaches perpetrated by educators in the district. Both the Atlanta and Baltimore school districts faced publicly reported cheating scandals in the last few years.  The two districts had very different responses to the incidents and very different outcomes. 
Listen to a discussion of the two districts approaches here: 
A critical area of test-security preparedness is a review of test security policies, procedures, and operations by internal or external individuals who are familiar with large-scale, high-stakes educational assessment programs. This review should include all formal and informal policies, procedures, and operational practices against industry best-practice standards. 

A review of test security policies and procedures should include the following:
  • Test Security Plan
    : Does the state or LEA have and maintain a formal test security plan that contains the goals of the program, policies and procedures, definitions, roles and responsibilities, and a Security Incident Response Plan?
  • Roles and Responsibilities
    : Are the roles and responsibilities of individuals involved in protecting the security of assessments clearly identified and communicated to all stakeholders?
  • Budget and Funding
    : Has the state identified budget and contingency funding for test security purposes?
  • Standard Forms and Agreements
    : Has the state or LEA implemented standard test security forms such as nondisclosure agreements, test administrator agreements, confidentiality agreements, or other appropriate legal agreements?
  • Test Administration
    : Are test administration procedures clearly described and communicated, including scheduling and managing student test-takers, proctoring or monitoring administrations, recording and managing incident or irregularity reports, and other critical test administration procedures?  
  • Physical and Information Security
    : Are there clear policies and procedures for the management of physical test materials before, during, and after test administration and for the management of electronic testing materials, including a secure and clear system for managing access to live testing content?
  • Security Awareness and Training
    : Do all persons involved in the testing program receive appropriate training in components of the Test Security Plan and associated test security policies and procedures that are relevant to their roles and responsibilities?
  • Security Incident Response Plan
    : Does the state or LEA have a plan for responding to known security incidents with appropriate responses for different types of testing violations, including further investigation and evaluation of testing irregularities?
  • Conducting Security Investigations
    : Does the state or LEA have a set of procedures in place for determining whether a security investigation is warranted and for carrying out investigations where needed?
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