Standardized testing puts enormous pressure on more than just the students taking the test. Anyone involved in the school system feels the pressure from these tests from the teachers to the superintendent of the county. The scores from the test are somehow supposed to adequately decide if the school is up to par. There are various consequences if a school does not meet the “standard,” which can drive those involved to cheat the system.
I am sure most everyone has heard about the many test cheating scandals that have even put some teachers in jail. Some may wonder why teachers would put their entire career and life at risk like that. What most do not realize is that teachers are pressured by the administration and sometimes even the county for their students to do well. Because it is the teachers who administer and take up the test they can easily cheat the system in many ways.
Since scores decide whether or not a school meets the standard of a “good” school, if they do not then students zoned to that particular school have the option the go to another school. Government funding for schools is based on how many students are enrolled and if students choose to leave the school they are zoned for enrollment goes down, which causes government funding for that school to decrease. That along with getting labeled a “bad” school due to to it not meeting the common core standard are the consequences that puts the pressure on teachers.
Since a school could face those consequences, in many cases the Board of Education will push for high test scores which involves all of those beneath them. The Board pressures the administration who pressures the teachers for their students to perform well. Ultimately the fait of the school it is up to the students and since teachers administer the test they may feel the need to cheat. There are many things that are considered cheating. A teacher may alter the directions instead of reading from the prompt, more thoroughly explain what a student is to do that could even cause them to give a student the answer, give students more time per section, or even change the students answers after they have turned it in. All of those are examples of cheating done by teacher and many times they have been caught, but sometimes it goes unnoticed.
All in all cheating stems from the pressure put on teachers by those higher up. If they have not fully covered all of the material laid out in the common core standard they may even feel like they have no other option, but to cheat. It seems unfair that teachers are the only ones punished for acts of cheating, when in reality everyone in the school system is involved. The fact of the matter is the pressure to have high test scores is not going to go away unless the government stops holding schools to a standard, which is almost impossible.