D.C. looks to hire firm to review test scores

WASHINGTON (AP) - An outside firm is being hired to check for irregularities in standardized test scores among District of Columbia students.

A spokesman for the state superintendent of education tells The Washington Post the firm will scrutinize suspicious 2011 standardized test scores.

The review will focus on individual classroom results and on test scores that show startling performance improvements and large numbers of answers that have been erased and changed from wrong to correct, among other irregularities.

In May, city officials said test results for three classrooms were invalidated because of proven cases of cheating. The U.S. Department of Education last summer joined an investigation into possible cheating.

USA Today reported in March that more than 100 D.C. schools had unusually high rates of erasures on exams between 2008 to 2010.