Test prank backfires for Monterey High student

An apparent prank by a Monterery High student — posting part of a standardized test online — resulted in a "cautionary flag" on the school's score, though state education officials acknowledged the intent appeared to an effort to show off a doodle, not to cheat.

Once Burbank Unified school officials discovered the posting of the California Standardized Testing and Reporting exam item, they immediately removed it, said Sharon Cuseo, director of instruction and accountability for Burbank Unified.

"A student uploaded a test item that he doodled on," she said.

State officials stated the posting did not affect the final test results at the continuation school. Students at 15 other schools statewide, including two in the Los Angeles Unified School District, had similar issues with online postings.

"These postings look to be attempts by students to gain attention among their friends, not an effort to gain an advantage on a test," said state Deputy Superintendent Deb Sigman in a release.

Despite this, state officials say they are taking a closer look at the 16 flagged schools for additional issues.

If a known security breach impacts more than 5% of the number of students who take the test at the school, then the school's Academic Performance Index — a statewide measure for student achievement — could be invalidated, state officials say.

In the coming weeks, state officials will decide if the posting by the Monterey High student will affect the school's API score.


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.


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