Washington Post - The former principal of an award-winning D.C. public school has accused teachers and administrators of systematically cheating on standardized tests in order to win cash bonuses and a steak dinner, according to recently unsealed federal court documents.
Part of a complaint filed in May 2011, the allegations triggered an investigation by the U.S. Education Department’s office of the inspector general. That office said Monday that it had concluded its work and found no evidence of widespread cheating in D.C. schools between 2008 and 2010.
The announcement came one day before a scheduled broadcast of a “Frontline” television documentary in which Adell Cothorne, who was principal of Noyes Education Campus in 2010-11, describes some elements of her allegations. But the details in a whistleblower complaint Cothorne made against the D.C. government in 2011 are far more extensive and allege that cheating occurred at other schools as well.
“The falsification of DC CAS test scores is systemic, and the veracity of the testing process and DC CAS scores has been questioned by other DCPS principals,” the complaint says, referring to the D.C. Comprehensive Assessment System tests, which measure student performance and were used to determine teacher and administrator bonuses.