No cellphones during high school tests

  • Associated Press
  • January 20, 2014 - 10:45 AM

MIDDLETON, Wis. — Students at Middleton High School will no longer have access to their cellphones during test times.

The new policy follows allegations of widespread cheating. Teachers will collect all electronic devices from students before tests are handed out and won't return them until the tests have been turned back in.

Math and science teachers also will create more than one version of their tests to discourage cheating, Middleton-Cross Plains School District spokesman Perry Hibner told the State Journal ( ).

The policy comes after allegations that students cheated on a December calculus test. All calculus students were required to retake the exam. Hibner said scores on the second exams were 3 percent lower overall than the first test.

He said the difference doesn't mean cheating occurred, but that teachers will meet with students who scored at least 10 fewer points on the second test. Hibner said faculty also will interview students who answered a question correctly on the first exam but answered the same question incorrectly on the second.

"It's not about interrogating," he said. "It's asking 'Why do you think that is?' . 'What can we do to better help you have success?'"

School administrators said they received anonymous letters alleging students were sharing or selling cellphone photos of the test questions.

Under the new policy, if students are caught with a second electronic device, "the test will be collected and the student will be escorted to Student Services."

"We understand that collecting cellphones will not eliminate the cheating problem, but it does mimic the secure testing conditions on all standardized tests," the policy stated.

A parent forum on academic integrity is scheduled for Wednesday evening at the high school.

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