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Study Finds Widespread Grade Inflation at L.A. County Schools

August 30, 2009 |  4:00 am

Aug. 30, 1899, Teachers

Aug. 30, 1899: Hawley, King & Co. buggies, 5th and Broadway.

The county Board of Education finds "deplorable laxness and inefficiency" in most Los Angeles County schools.

By 1899, California required each county to send standardized tests to all its schools for students in fifth grade and above. The graded exams were to be returned to the county boards as a check on teachers' effectiveness.

In previous years, the magnitude of the paperwork precluded a detailed study of the exams. This time, however, thorough scrutiny of the tests reveals widespread falsification of grades. "Some of the teachers have sent in correctly marked examination papers, but the great majority have marked their pupils' examination papers from 5 to 50 percent higher than deserved," says Luther G. Brown, president of the Board of Education.

"In a number of instances the children of trustees were graded with very much more leniency than other pupils," Brown says