Atlanta schools release study on impact of cheating scandal

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ATLANTA (AP) — Researchers say thousands of Atlanta Public Schools students whose test scores were altered in a cheating scandal have been struggling in reading and English language arts compared to their peers.

The Georgia State University study commissioned by the district found 7,064 students with high numbers of wrong answers changed to correct responses on a 2009 statewide exam.

The study says the affected students are behind by one-fourth to one-half of average achievement for middle school students nationwide. Researchers compared the students' lag to being instructed by a first-year teacher instead of one with five or more years of experience.

Officials acknowledge it's difficult to determine whether cheating is the sole cause of any student's struggles.

A jury in April convicted 11 former educators of racketeering in the test cheating scandal.

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