One Mississippi school whose radical test-score gains last year were about as likely as an asteroid destroying Earth's civilization — one in 20,000 — escaped detection in a system that admittedly lets potential cheaters slip through the cracks.
In the wake of its investigation into alleged widespread cheating at Heidelberg Elementary School in Clarksdale, The Clarion-Ledger expanded its probe statewide. It found 67 cases of abnormally extreme gains in Mississippi Curriculum Test scores between 2009 and 2013, including the example noted above.
The instances occur across 44 schools in 34 districts — nearly two-thirds of them poor and almost one-third located in the Delta. Any one of them could indicate unethical behavior.