D.C. school cheating may have been more widespread, memo suggests

A memo obtained by USA Today suggests that a cheating scandal that rocked D.C. Public Schools in 2011 was more widespread than originally thought.

DCPS officials have long maintained that the scandal was limited to just one school, but the USA Today report indicates that a 2009 memo suggests that teachers at dozens of schools citywide changed answers on standardized tests in 2008.

USA Today says that a third-party analyst was brought in by former Chancellor Michelle Rhee to look into alleged irregularity in math and reading scores at D.C. Schools. That analyst's report noted a rather high number of erasures on tests.

As recently as January of this year, though, current D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson denied reports of more widespread cheating, calling them "fictitious."

However, Adel Cothorne, the former principal at the Noyes Education Campus in Northeast, said in a PBS Frontline documentary that cheating and answer changing was rampant and possibly motivated by cash bonuses for higher student achievement.