TEA Implements New Measures to Curb Cheating

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AUSTIN -- The Texas Education Agency Monday announced new security to prevent cheating on standardized tests.

The plan includes assigning monitors to campuses with previous security problems, using multiple versions of exams and mandatory seating charts at test sites.

The security measures would apply to the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test, known as TAKS, and other state testing programs.

The 14 steps announced by T-E-A also include:

- analyzing scrambled blocks of test questions to detect answer copying
- contracting with a national expert for independent review
- requiring students to sign honor pledges not to cheat
- and developing ways to identify statistically irregular patterns of test answers that may indicate cheating.

A recent analysis by The Dallas Morning News found that tens of thousands of students across Texas continue to cheat on the TAKS test.

The review found the suspected cheating was concentrated in the Dallas and Houston school districts and charter schools.

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