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Error Invalidates National City Middle Academic Rating

Aired 10/30/12 on KPBS News.

National City Middle School was among 23 California schools that had academic ratings invalidated by the state.

— A Los Angeles Times investigation found 23 schools across California where academic performance scores were invalidated because of irregularities ranging from teacher errors to outright cheating. An error at National City Middle School led to its scores being thrown out.

According to a report from the California Department of Education, a teacher giving the state reading test to special education students violated testing rules by reading text aloud that students were supposed to read on their own.

Sweetwater Union High School reported the error to the state and the school’s scores were invalidated. Superintendent Ed Brand is confident the incident is an anomaly.

“We use it as a teaching tool for our selves, to get better," he said of students' scores on state standardized tests. "So we’re not necessarily afraid of the results. We look forward to the results to drive the instruction in this district. So I’m confident that our review process is pretty good.”

The Los Angeles Times reported incidents at some of the 22 other schools with invalidated scores ranging from teachers leaving helpful bulletin boards uncovered to others marking questions on tests for students to correct.

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