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News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 15, 2013
For More Information Contact:
Tom Dunn, Jonathan Burman, or Antonia Valentine
(518) 474-1201
www.nysed.gov

COMMISSIONER KING ANNOUNCES

NEW TEST SECURITY WEBSITE
Latest Step Toward Protecting Integrity of State Assessments

As part of an overall effort to protect the integrity of State assessments, State Education Department (SED) Commissioner John B. King, Jr. announced the launch of a new website designed to support the integrity of State assessments. The new Test Security and Educator Integrity website (http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tsei/) includes several components to facilitate the receipt and handling of test fraud allegations involving State tests.

"New York State administers more than five million student exams every year," King said. "The Board of Regents has implemented reforms to make sure every student graduates high school college- and career-ready. State tests help us measure how well students are progressing toward that goal, and how much more they need to learn. We cannot let those results be contaminated by fraud and impropriety.

"We’re working to make sure SED handles every allegation effectively and efficiently. The overwhelming majority of educators in New York State give tests honestly and fairly. We’re going to make sure the actions of a few do not taint the reputation of the many. We’ve changed our process; we’re doing a much better job responding to these allegations, and the Test Security website is another step in that direction. This is an ongoing effort; we’ll keep working to protect the integrity of our assessments. Our students and our teachers deserve tests that are fair and uncompromised."

The Test Security website includes an electronic "tipline" for reports of testing-related misconduct involving educators, and policies and guidance for improving the security and integrity of tests and test scores.

The new website is one of several steps SED and the Board of Regents have taken to enhance the security and integrity of the State’s testing program since 2010. The test security measures include:

  • October 2010: Approval by the Board of Regents to scan Regents exam answer sheets to more easily detect testing irregularities. Scanning of State examinations was required for all 2012 Regents exams.
  • Beginning in June 2011: SED prohibited schools from rescoring open-ended questions on the Regents examinations.
  • September 2011: The Board of Regents:
    • Required universal Grade 3-8 exam dates. Administering exams on the same day across the State creates tighter control of test materials and minimizes improper discussions about exam content.
    • Expanded the requirement that all teachers and administrators certify that they have received and will follow all security protocols on all State assessments.
  • October 2011: The Board of Regents approved a policy change that prohibited teachers from scoring their own students’ exams. This change, effective with the 2012-13 school year, safeguards against potential test fraud by educators holding a vested interest in the test scores.
  • March 2012: Henry "Hank" Greenberg, a Special Investigator appointed by Commissioner King, delivered a report to the Board of Regents with recommendations for improving the security and integrity of State assessments. Per Greenberg’s recommendation, King established a specialized Test Security Unit (TSU), led by former federal prosecutor Tina Sciocchetti and staffed with legal and investigative personnel. The TSU investigates allegations of improprieties on State assessments, pursues discipline for proven misconduct, and provides training on proper testing practices.
  • 2012 & 2013: The Board of Regents approves a budget request for $500,000 for SED to conduct additional forensic measures, including in-depth erasure analysis of test results, to detect test fraud.

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New York State Board of Regents
The State Education Department / The University of the State of New York / Albany, NY 12234
Office of Communications / (518) 474-1201

Last Updated: February 15, 2013