Students Weigh in on Cheating

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Texas high school juniors say there's something puzzling about how they take the two-day Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.

When students are handed back their question booklets for the second day of the test, they also get their answer sheets from the previous day.

They say that's an invitation to cheat.

Nick Palluth's a student at Keller High School, near Fort Worth. He tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that several students would talk after each day of testing and realize what mistakes they'd made. He says students "could very easily go in the next day and correct those mistakes."

Texas Education Agency spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe says schools are to report any such instances to the state -- if they're aware of them. She says test monitors can be punished if they allow the practice.

Experts on standardized tests say giving Texas students back their booklets and answer sheets after part of the test is taken defies common sense.

But Ratcliffe says publishing separate booklets could increase the chance of tests falling into the wrong hands.