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Update: Test Security Company Responds To Rhee Claims

Cheating_rect-460x307Caveon Test Security has responded via email to the claim made in tomorrow's Frontline piece on Michelle Rhee that it did not go as far as it could have.

In the Frontline piece, Rhee says "We just hired them to do the investigation and really believed that they were going to do it in as comprehensive a manner as possible."

In an email statement pasted below, Caveon states that while there were some topics that DC schools were not asked by OSSE to provide (and thus could not be addressed by Caveon), "Caveon has such a full tool kit that virtually all of our clients use only part of our services."  

According to Caveon's John Fremer, President of Consulting Services, " Caveon has such a full tool kit that virtually all of our clients use only part of our services. It is not appropriate to say that fault should be assigned to a client for using some of our services and not others."  

DC Schools were not asked by OSSEto perform additional analyses and was not provided with test item by test item data that would be needed to perform some of the most important analyses. So the district could not do its own in-depth statistical analyses for the classes with high erasure rates or have an independent testing company such as Caveon do them.

From the rough transcript of the show, which airs tomorrow:

Merrow: The company that you hired // said // that it had additional methods they could have used to determine if cheating had taken place but they were not asked to go further.

Rhee:  Yeah, that was-- a little odd to us because we hired them to investigate. We did not-- we did not lay out the parameters of the investigation. // We just hired them to do the investigation and really believed that they were going to do it in as comprehensive a manner as possible.

Caveon's John Fremer responded as follows:

Caveon was hired by the DC Schools to interview teachers whose classes had very high erasure rates on the "state" tests as well as other educators at the same schools. We did that work very carefully and meeting high professional measurement standards.

Caveon has the ability to provide many other test security services that were not required by OSSE or requested from DC Schools and thus not part of the Caveon DC Schools contract. DC Schools were asked specifically by OSSEto have interviews carried out and we helped the school district fill that requirement. To give one important example, DC Schools were not asked by OSSE to perform additional analyses and was not provided with test item by test item data that would be needed to perform some of the most important analyses. So the district could not do its own in-depth statistical analyses for the classes with high erasure rates or have an independent testing company such as Caveon do them.

When statements are made about Caveon having other tools that it did not use in the DC Schools projects, it is important to know that Caveon has such a full tool kit that virtually all of our clients use only part of our services. It is not appropriate to say that fault should be assigned to a client for using some of our services and not others. The issue should be what Caveon services were used and did they make sense. Caveon in turn should be judged on the services that we performed not on services not requested or performed.

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