Students’ online photos of California tests delay release of scores


“The teenagers aren’t held accountable in any way, shape or form for the test,” he said. “Of course they’re going to take a picture with a cellphone. They also write the names of their boyfriend or girlfriend in the bubbles on the answer sheet.”

The problem emerged in April, near the start of the testing period. In all, 249 students posted 442 images on social-networking sites, including Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Webstagram and Pinterest. The 147 affected schools are spread across 94 school districts.

The issues are deeper than the 36 compromised items. A student who posted a vanity photo of himself posing with a test booklet also could have taken photos of test items that were shared among friends but never posted online.

A school can lose its score if 5% of tests are invalidated. Cheating or lesser mistakes by teachers and other staff led to canceled scores at about two dozen California schools last year.

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