2 Denver schools investigated for possible CSAP cheating

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DENVER – Denver Public Schools is asking the state to investigate possible cheating on the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) tests at two Denver elementary schools.

EdNewsColorado.org, a news website that covers education issues across the state, has identified the schools as Beach Court Elementary and Hallett Fundamental Academy.

The principals of both schools have been placed on paid administrative leave.

Beach Court has been among the district's highest-performing, low-income schools for several years.

“We care deeply about the integrity of our student-achievement assessments,” DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg said in a statement released Tuesday. “Students and their families rely on assessment information to get a sense of how students are doing, and teachers use that information to target and modify instruction to best meet the needs of students. We owe it to our students, their families, and the entire DPS community to ensure the integrity of this performance data, and we want to look carefully to see if any actions have compromised this integrity.” 

According to DPS, experts analyzed whether students’ 2011 CSAP performances varied significantly between multiple choice and written responses, between two schools over two years, and among different types of assessments.  

In addition, DPS and the Colorado Department of Education examined the number of wrong answers that were erased and changed to correct answers.

The results showed Beach Court Elementary and Hallett Fundamental Academy “far exceeded district averages in the number of wrong answers erased and replaced with correct responses,” EdNewsColorado.org reported.

DPS says data from only two of the 162 schools in DPS indicated statistical irregularities across more than one subject or grade level.

CSAP was recently renamed Transitional Colorado Assessment Program, or TCAP.