Cheating our children: Districts with suspicious patterns

UPDATE: This is a list of districts which, in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s analysis, appear to most resemble the pattern of test score jumps and drops found in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal. Other districts shown in our interactive map and nationwide searchable database with a high percentage of flagged classes do not match the Atlanta pattern as closely.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution examined test results for 69,000 schools in 49 states and found high concentrations of suspect scores in 196 school districts. The findings represent an unprecedented look at the integrity of school testing, which has seized center stage in national education policy.

While the analysis doesn't prove cheating, it found troubling patterns that experts say merit further examination. Those patterns resemble early indicators in Atlanta that ultimately led to the biggest cheating scandal in American history.


In this list, we show the percentage of classes that were flagged in each district for each year, 2008 through 2011. A class is a group of students in the same school from one year to the next. For example, fourth grade students in 2009 and fifth grade students in 2010. A "flag" only indicates a test-score shift outside the norm. Please refer to the article on our methodology to see how a class was flagged. Smaller districts with fewer than 20 classes were not included.



Suspicious school test scores across nation

AJC's testing investigation spurs action

Learn the AJC's methodology

The journey from cheating in Atlanta

The story behind the story

Get Schooled blog: Is there cheating going on?

Response: Houston schools

Response: Nashville schools