Education Administrator Initially Ignores Cheating Scandal

In 2010, Noyes Education Campus principal, Adell Cothorne, instantly gets the word out regarding a cheating incident where teachers were erasing and correcting students’ test answers arbitrarily. The District of Columbia Schools chancellor learns about it within 24 hours but doesn’t initiate any probe into the matter.

Emails retrieved from 2010 by the Associated Press, show that the chancellor, Kaya Henderson was fully aware of the cheating incident and despite being informed about it by two Teacher Union administrators, the chancellor didn’t prompt any investigations. The ex principal, Adell Cothorne witnessed the erasing of students standardized tests answers — tests that in the past have been the reason for the school’s outstanding test performance.

After the cheating allegations surfaced, the previously nationally recognized school saw its math and reading proficiency levels severely drop. Although the investigations in 2011 resulted in a few employees at Noyes being fired, the cheating event was not fully investigated when first brought up in 2010. The Noyes Education Campus seems to be just one of many schools suffering from the high-stakes exams students are pressured to do well on. Student test failure can have severe repercussions for the teachers and their schools. Apart from no performance bonuses, teachers can lose their jobs in the face of an underperforming class.

The continued revelations of cheating scandals just like this one in high schools across the US illustrates that associating student performance with teacher competency can lead to dishonest practices.