LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Campuses in more than a dozen school districts in Southern California were stripped of a state academic rating over allegations of cheating and other misconduct involving standardized test scores, according to a report.

The California Department of Education invalidated test scores for 27 schools statewide, including five districts in Los Angeles County, in a move that effectively strips the schools of their Academic Performance Index (API) rating, which serves as a key indicator to gauge school performance, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Local schools affected by the ruling include William McKinley Elementary in Burbank; Community Day School in Claremont; Walton Middle School in Compton; Norma Coombs Alternative School in Pasadena; Hickory Elementary in Torrance; West Randall Elementary in Fontana; Piute Middle School in Lancaster; Arroyo Elementary in Ontario, and Fairhaven Elementary in Orange.

Violations ranged from teachers helping students erase wrong answers and working out problems on the board in front of the whole class, to one teacher at Arroyo Elementary who allegedly tapped on students’ tests once or twice to signal whether an answer was correct, according to the Times.

In almost every case, the Department of Education found the teacher acted alone, and that overall the cases were relatively isolated in a state with more than 10,000 campuses, the Times reported.

The number of schools affected was up slightly from last year, when teachers at 23 schools statewide were found to have acted improperly. Those violations included using facial expressions to signal correct answers to students, and one teacher using a “document camera and projector” to display actual test questions to her class beforehand.


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