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CA Finds Social Media Postings During Tests at 23 LAUSD Schools

LA School Report | August 9, 2013



social-media-channelNearly two dozen LA Unified schools were cited by state education officials on Friday as schools where social media postings occurred during recent statewide tests.

In a news release, they identified two schools — Alexander Hamilton Senior High and Alliance Cindy and Bill Simon Technology Academy High – where the postings showed legible test questions or answers, raising the possibility of cheating.

Overall, state officials ilisted 242 schools where social media posts came during testing, including 16 with visible test items. In large measure, they said, the posts involved students posing with the covers of test booklets or with materials that were not legible and in no case were test results affected.

In 2012, the state found social media postings in 216 schools during testing, with posts from 12 schools that included legible test questions or answers.

“We take the validity and reliability of our assessments very seriously, and our schools do too, which is why we redoubled our efforts to monitor these postings and alerted school districts when they occurred,” said Deputy Superintendent Deb Sigman, who oversees assessments and accountability issues for the state Department of Education. “These postings look to be attempts by students to gain attention among their friends, not an effort to gain an advantage on a test.

Though the implications for accountability have not yet been determined, in general, if a security breach affects less than 5 percent of the number of students tested, the school is ineligible for academic awards. If the breach affects more than 5 percent of the number of students tested, the school’s API—the state’s measure of accountability—could be invalidated.

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