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School cheating investigations weakened by budget cuts

September 18, 2011 |  2:08 pm

When it comes to cheating at schools, education officials usually turn themselves in.

Because of budget cuts, the state Education Department no longer conducts random audits at schools or scans test booklets for irregularities.

Twenty-two California schools had their test scores thrown out this year for reasons ranging from outright cheating to comparatively minor mistakes, such as failing to cover up bulletin boards or stumbling over instructions, according to a review by The Times.

Nearly half the campuses lost their Academic Performance Index scores because of cheating by teachers on the multiple-choice tests. Several others were penalized because of help teachers gave students that violated rules. Additionally, some school scores were rejected because of what appeared to be accidental actions.

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-- Howard Blume

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