D.C. Leaders Want to Criminalize Cheating on Standardized Tests

The D.C. Council’s exploration of ways to curb cheating on standardized tests led to tense and angry exchanges Thursday.

School cheating scandals nationwide -- including 82 guilty confessions in Atlanta -- have shaken confidence in annual performance tests.

D.C. Council Education Committee Chairman David Catania is proposing legislation to make future cheating by any D.C. school official a crime with civil penalties of up to $10,000 and dismissal.

“Today in the District of Columbia there are no laws nor municipal regulations that prohibit the kinds of activities that we are talking about today,” he said.

Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson and D.C. Inspector General Charles Willoughby sharply disputed some complaints that the D.C. school system failed to fully investigate cheating dating back to 2008 and isn't doing enough now to prevent future cheating.

For the first time, new tests will be conducted on computers and online to limit access to anyone who wants to change answers, but the details are still being worked out.

Contact Us