National push to stop cheating

AMARILLO, Texas - After a string of cheating scandals nationwide, involving both teachers and students, the U.S. Department of Education is trying to help students make the grade the right way.

From now through February, the U.S. Department of Education is seeking public input on what it can do to prevent and detect cheating.  Amarillo Independent School District Executive Director, Stan Chatman, says in Texas there are already some strict standards in place.

"Texas has a very stringent cheating policy from the state that we have to follow and that we have to go by," Chatman said. "The state has intensive training that teachers all have to go through before they administer a test. They have to sign an oath right before they go through this training. When they sign the oath, the oath basically states that they could lose their teaching certification if they don't report violations, or they could be suspended."

There are also strict guidelines in Texas to prevent tests from falling into the wrong hands.

"The tests are all sealed. We have to lock things up in a secure area. They cannot be left out in an open area," Chatman said.

"They are not provided prior access to the testing materials and they have to check the information in and out on the testing days," Christy Bertolino with Canyon Independent School District said.

While Canyon ISD and Amarillo ISD say cheating in the classroom is not a major problem, it is still considered a serious issue, especially when it is not reported.

"It's also a requirement to report any suspicious activity or any possible incidence directly to the state," Chatman said.

If you have any suggestions for the U.S. Department of Education's new cheating guidelines, you can call 1-800-USA-LEARN.