School District Handles Exam Cheating

The Minnesota Department of Education lets school districts resolve cheating issues themselves. In 2013, over 159 test security notices were been sent to the Minnesota Department of Education. What often happens is that a school district official reports a test security issue to the state and the state, more often than not, will simply ask that proctoring teachers receive extra training on how to supervise tests more efficiently.

A lack of resources has left this precautionary, anti-cheating approach of preventing cheating altogether rather than investigating cheating incidents is the only option available at the moment in Minnesota.

Minnesota’s cheating incidents are partly attributed to how the state ranks schools based on overall student performance. What’s more, teachers are evaluated by how well their students perform at tests and also, students’ graduation often depends on test scores.

A contributing factor to Minnesota’s cheating issue is placing too much importance on exams. This leads to an environment that may encourage students and teachers to endorse cheating practices or turn a blind eye to them. Of course, the rigorousness of test security procedures and the insufficient teacher proctoring training also have a role to play when it comes to how cheating is prevented and handled.

The most frequent testing procedure breaches in Minnesota are teachers correcting students’ answers, teachers helping students with the right answers during an exam to prevent failing/ ensure graduation and less severe ones, such as students listening to music or having their smartphones with them.

Some options to ensure testing integrity include:
• Two-teacher exam proctoring
• Setting stricter proctoring procedure standards and penalties
• Establishing an alternative to the teacher performance- student achievement correlation
• Implementing advanced proctoring services to ensure exam integrity