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VIDEO: New Research Shows True Toll Cheating Scandal Took on Atlanta’s Most Vulnerable Students

By Matt Barnum | April 6, 2016

When teachers cheat, students ultimately suffer in the long run.
Everyone who follows education news remembers the Atlanta cheating scandal, in which several teachers went to jail. But what happened to the students whose test scores were manipulated?
Research now shows that those students’ scores on later tests were noticeably lower, with enduring effects on English exams. (There’s also evidence that cheating led to an uptick in high school dropout rates among students whose tests were fudged)
The researchers suggest that the students were harmed because they didn’t get the remediation or extra support services they needed since their true academic standing was masked by the phony scores.
In other words, cheating on high-stakes exams doesn’t just corrupt accountability systems; it also inflicts lasting harm on students who were denied meaningful evaluations.
This was one of several new research papers discussed at a conference organized by CALDER — a research group affiliated with the American Institutes for Research. Read more of Matt’s top takeaways from the event here.
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