Detecting Unexpected Changes in Pass Rates

A Comparison of Two Statistical Approaches

Authored by: Matthew Gaertner , Yuanyuan (Malena) McBride

Handbook of Quantitative Methods for Detecting Cheating on Tests

Print publication date:  October  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138821804
eBook ISBN: 9781315743097
Adobe ISBN: 9781317588108


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When test scores are used to inform high-stakes decisions—about schools, teachers, or individual students—those who take the tests and those who administer the tests may be tempted to fraudulently improve the scores. The urge to cheat is understandable when serious consequences are attached to assessment results. But to understand a cause is not to condone it. Indeed, the broader impacts of cheating coupled with its increased prevalence threaten to undermine the integrity of educational assessment (Cizek, 2003). Increasingly common reports of test fraud are particularly troubling when we consider that the provision of vital educational services (e.g., supplemental instruction or special education) may be triggered in part by test results. In those cases, to tolerate cheating on the part of the test administrator or test taker is to effectively deny support to those students who need it most (Cizek, 1999).

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