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    FOR RELEASE                                                         CONTACT:  Henry Duvall
                     March 23, 2012                                            (202) 393-2427 or hduvall@cgcs.org

    Statement by Michael Casserly, Executive Director
    Council of the Great City Schools

    Suppporting Efforts to Maintain the Integrity of School Testing


    WASHINGTON – The Council of the Great City Schools unequivocally condemns cheating on student tests as the nation's urban public school districts are working hard to implement reforms to improve academic achievement.


    It is thus regrettable that a regional newspaper has recently used a flawed and misleading methodology that does not meet acceptable analytic standards in its attempt to demonstrate that cheating is systematic across the nation's school districts. These are serious charges that should be supported by the strongest evidence. That strong evidence has not been provided.  


    Maintaing the integrity of school testing is the cornerstone of ensuring that our urban school districts are indeed making academic gains. We rely on student testing as a measure for gauging student improvement and identifying needs for intervenion. Anyone found cheating should face serious consequences.    


    The Council of the Great City Schools has the highest regard for the integrity of our urban school administrators, school board members, school principals and teachers who are spearheading reforms. We have encouraged our urban school systems to volunteer for the rigorous National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and to step up to higher academic standards. And we will be working with our member districts to ensure that safeguards are in place to protect our students and maintain public trust in our schools.