Education

GSU Report: APS Cheating Put Kids Behind in Reading, English

Prosecuting attorneys charged former APS educators with conspiring to cheat on state tests.
Prosecuting attorneys charged former APS educators with conspiring to cheat on state tests.
Credit KENT JOHNSON, POOL / ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION / Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The effects of the Atlanta cheating scandal on students were not huge, but not insignificant either, according to a new report issued by Georgia State University.

Researchers studied about 3,700 students whose answer sheets were manipulated. They found they were behind their classmates in reading and English/language arts for several years.

“We’re looking at one-fourth or one-half of what students would typically learn from one spring to the next,” Tim Sass, the study’s lead researcher, says.

In math, the difference wasn’t as great. Sass says the discrepancy didn’t get worse as kids got older.

“It didn’t seem like the gaps were increasing over time; they were staying fairly constant,” he says.

Sass says there could be a few reasons for that. Students could have received remedial help or had better teachers in later grades.

However, just under half of the students affected by the cheating weren’t included in the study. They no longer attended Atlanta Public Schools.

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