BRYANT, Ark. (KTHV) - Earlier this week, the Atlanta Journal- Constitution reported the results of a study by three of its reporters and two database specialists.
The study takes a look at data from around 69,000 schools in over 14,743 districts across the U.S. The study was done to identify districts in which suspicious test scores could possibly be indicative of cheating on standardized tests.
According to the AJC, the researchers looked for cases in which test scores increased or decreased "outside the norm" from one year to the next. They decided that if over five percent of a district's classes were "flagged for unusually high or low performance relative to their performance in the previous year," that district was then considered suspect.
AJC found that 200 districts across the U.S. were found suspicious.
Bryant School District says in a statement sent to Today's THV that 21 Arkansas schools were among the 200 districts.
Bryant School District was included.
The statement reads, "While this is unfortunate, it is important to remember the AGC itself states that the study in no way proves cheating, it simply points out what the researchers considered extraordinary changes in scores. Moreover, the entire validity of this study is being highly criticized nationwide, as it does not take into account factors such as student mobility or teacher effectiveness and its methodology tend to implicate only larger districts."
The statement goes on to say that test scores across the Bryant School District have improved from one year to the next for many years, as is required by the No Child Left Behind legislation.
The Bryant School District says they want to reassure parents and the community of the integrity of their staff.
The statement closes with, "In addition, all allegations of testing violations or breaches in procedure are thoroughly investigated. If confirmed, appropriate disciplinary action is taken, up to and including termination."
Arkansas school districts listed:
-North Little Rock