Cheating report spurs Severna Park students to act

May 20, 2007|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Reporter

Prompted by a cheating scandal, students at Severna Park High School in Anne Arundel County are circulating a survey and demanding action from the administration.

The survey asks questions about incidents of cheating and calls for suggestions on what can be done to curtail it. A student group has scheduled a meeting with Principal James B. Hamilton to discuss the survey results.

Several students reported cheating occurred May 11 during an Advanced Placement U.S. history exam in a classroom of 45 students. The proctor appeared inexperienced and did not stop incessant talking and text-messaging during the exam, according to at least three students who, for fear of reprisal, asked not to be identified.

At one point, the proctor left the classroom in the care of a deaf student's interpreter for several minutes, the students said.

During a scheduled break in the testing, at least three girls were seen in the bathroom poring through review books.

"We have been made aware of concerns about the way the test was administered and the behavior of some students," said Bob Mosier, county schools spokesman.

The school launched an investigation and has interviewed the students, the proctor and the interpreter. Parents were notified of the incident by letter and phone, and were told that plans were in place for a makeup test.

Administrators have tentatively set Thursday for retesting all 45 students, but that plan must be approved by the College Board, the nonprofit association that controls Advanced Placement testing.

Mosier said students who may have cheated face sanctions.

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