On Friday, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook, a blog on Philadelphia’s education system, reported that the state had provided it with a 2009 forensics investigation that flagged 60 statewide schools with suspicious results on standardized state exams.
The Notebook reported that “the odds that the wrong-to-right erasure patterns that showed up on Roosevelt’s 7th grade reading response sheets occurred purely by chance were slightly less than 1 in 100 trillion.”
Notebook reporter Ben Herold said that the state only produced the report once the blog had asked for it upon learning that states regularly perform forensic analyses of exams — and may or may not release them.
“People in Philadelphia are reacting to this news in the context of what’s happening elsewhere in the country,” Herold added. “The district said they were never provided with this report and they would have used it in the course of internal investigations.”
Herold’s team analyzed the report and found that 22 of the implicated public schools and seven of the implicated charter schools were in Philadelphia. The report raises even larger questions in light of Philadelphia’s nine years of test score gains.