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Michelle Rhee’s Statement on U.S. DOE Conclusion of Investigation Into DC Testing Allegations

"Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Inspector General announced that their investigation found no widespread cheating on the DC Comprehensive Assessment System tests from 2008-2010. This conclusion supports previous investigations and findings of the DC Office of the Inspector General and others. At StudentsFirst we believe it is incredibly important to take all allegations of wrongdoing seriously and we thank both offices for doing so. The results confirm what we've long believed, that the vast majority of educators would never compromise their personal or professional integrity to cheat on a test, thereby cheating children. With six separate, consecutive tests (both DC CAS and NAEP) showing significant improvements in academic achievement, we congratulate the children and educators in DC for their hard work and accomplishments."

Every past analysis conducted by independent investigators also uncovered no evidence of widespread cheating on the DC-CAS from 2008-2010:

DC Inspector General Investigation “Did Not Reveal Evidence” Of Widespread Cheating. “The investigation did not reveal evidence of criminal activity or widespread cheating on the DC CAS exams. ... The OIG found insufficient evidence on which to conclude that there was widespread cheating on the DC CAS exams for the period in question.” [District of Columbia Office of the Inspector General, “Report of Investigation Into Cheating on the DC Comprehensive Assessment System’s Standardized Exams Administered By the District of Columbia Public Schools” OIG No. 2011-0318, August 8, 2012]

Caveon Independent Analysis in 2009 Found No Evidence of Cheating. According to a memo from independent investigation firm Caveon, “Caveon did not find evidence of cheating at any of the schools. For one school, we suggested further follow up by DCPS, but even in that case there was no definitive evidence of cheating.” [Caveon Memo Clarification Statement, March 28, 2011]

Alvarez & Marsal Independent Investigation Found Cheating in Fewer Than 0.0006% of Classrooms. According to the Washington Examiner, “The D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education, which oversees both the traditional school system and the citys public charter schools, hired Alvarez & Marsal to analyze test results for cheating and interview more than 300 students, teachers and administrators… Of the 5,089 classrooms tested on the 2011 standardized exams, there were just three confirmed cases of teachers cheating to enhance their students' performance.” [Washington Examiner, June 23, 2012]

About StudentsFirst:

StudentsFirst is a bipartisan grassroots movement of more than 2 million members nationwide, working to focus our education system on what's best for students. Today, too many of America's children are not getting the quality education they need and deserve. StudentsFirst is helping to change that with common sense reforms that help make sure all students have great schools and great teachers. We are working to ensure educators are valued for the critical role they play in kids’ lives, families have high-quality school choices and a real say in their child's education, and our tax dollars are spent wisely on what works for kids. Launched by former Washington D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee in December 2010, StudentsFirst has successfully helped pass more than 110 student-centered policies in 17 states, and our movement continues to grow. For more information visit www.studentsfirst.org.

Contact: mediarequests@studentsfirst.org