Rep. Matt Ramsey of Peachtree City has introduced two bills to criminally penalize educators who tamper with standardized tests, Gov. Sonny Perdue’s office announced Monday.
Under the proposals, anyone who tampers with or facilitates cheating on tests will be guilty of a misdemeanor and may have their teaching certification suspended or revoked. Also, any violators would be subject to the loss of their pensions.
The legislation is in response to a scandal last year involving several metro Atlanta schools in which administrators were determined to have tampered with students’ answers on standardized tests.
Under the legislation as currently written, the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement will examine the results of mandated tests and may ask the state attorney general and the Professional Standards Commission to investigate such matters.
Ramsey said the state needs to insure the accuracy of testing data because they play a large part in how Georgia makes its policy decisions.
“This legislation will make it clear what the penalties are for tampering with tests,” Ramsey said. “The ultimate victims in these cases are students, and we must do everything we can to ensure our students receive the services they need to progress.”
Ramsey introduced the bill as part of his role as one of the governor’s floor leaders.