Newspaper Finds Cheating Continues on TAKS Test

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A newspaper analysis shows tens of thousands of students across Texas continue to cheat on the TAKS test, despite claims by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that cheating on the standardized exam is a rarity.

A story in Sunday's edition of The Dallas Morning News found evidence of cheating by more than 50,000 students in 2005 and 2006 on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test, which is given in grades three through 11.

The review shows that cheating is concentrated in the Dallas and Houston school districts, as well as in charter schools.

Officials with the TEA say they'd be willing to consider using statistical data to weed out cheaters. The agency currently relies on interviews with teachers and other school officials.

Dallas Superintendent Michael Hinojosa says his district last year implemented new security policies during the exams to help reduce instances of cheating.

School district officials in Houston, meanwhile, say there's no evidence of cheating in Houston schools.

A bill waiting approval by Governor Rick Perry would replace the state's high-stakes high school exit exam with end-of-course tests.