I gave my kiddos a test this week. Scores were not great, for the most part. The highest score was about an 84%, from my very best students. Plus, it took the kiddos between 1-1.5 hours to complete the test (unless the bombed it and were willing to give up the ghost).
Enter Beth. Beth missed school on Tuesday and I don't see her Wednesday. When I saw her Thursday, all but a handful had taken the test. So, it's definitely possible that answers had leaked into the populace. Heck, I remember getting the answers to chemistry tests before we took them at all! (I should probably explain myself about that at some point)
Beth asked to take the test in the hall, and since this is common at my school and she has never cheated before, I said ok. The test then took her 20-30 minutes, 50% less than the average student. I graded the test, and missed only 2, which netted her about 11 points more than my BEST students....you know, the ones who study, who pay attention and are engaged, who come to tutorials.....Well, Beth is none of these things. Her current average in my class is a 60, and when she DOES turn in work, it's not good quality. She received a score lower than a 50 on a recent quiz. During class, she enjoys yelling across the room to friends while I'm talking (a lovely habit, to be certain).
With this evidence, I told her that I wanted her to retake the test. I told her why, and she understood why I thought that cheating was a possibility (that I can't prove, since she was in the hall). She refused to retake the test, telling me that she didn't want to prove herself and that I could just give her a zero. You see the added suspicion here? We went round and round, I had her call mom, who she conveniently couldn't reach. At this point, I was not going to continue to discuss this with her, so I told her she could leave. I wasn't angry at any point, just trying to figure out why all of a sudden she was the smartest kid, as far as evolution was concerned. Oh, she did better than a preAP teacher's "nerdiest" student, too. Hmm.
I emailed my AP, telling him the situation. The I called Dad, who told me he was on his way.
We had a lovely conference, with mom in some slight denial about her daughter (not dad, though!), and Beth continued to refuse to retake the test. Nothing could get through to this child!
Finally, I told her and her parents that my suggestion was that she think about this over the weekend. I would make the new test, and if she wanted to take it, it would be ready for her. We'll see what she decides. I hope she chooses to be smart, rather than stubborn and dumb. If she chooses not to take this test again, I predict her behavior worsening in my class, and her effort declining to the point of nonexistence. Sigh.
Adding to this is the fact that her answers to her review sheet where mostly incomplete or flat-out wrong, as least as far as evolution is concerned.
The sad part is that if she were a better student, I would have undoubtedly given her this grade, as I had another student "lose" her answer sheet (she was THERE on Tuesday, I have no grade, no answer sheet for her) and she had to retake the test and ALSO got a 95%. Which, in light of these events, is obviously highly suspicious. However, although I know her to be two-faced, I also know that she is very intelligent and her work can be quite good. So, in this case she gets the grade.
It's unfortunate that Beth is getting caught up in this, and my mistake was in letting her go into the hall where I couldn't see her. I apologized to her for that, as well as for her being in this situation.
Nevertheless, I think I just gained one more flunky. Sigh.
I hope I'm wrong.