New Measure To Prevent Cheating on TAKS Test

The first of this year's TAKS tests begin tomorrow, and to prevent students from cheating, the Texas Education Agency has set new security measures. 
Students will be asked to sign a honor pledge that says they won't cheat in an effort to make them more accountable for their actions. It says  "By signing my name, I agree that I will not receive unauthorized assistance during the test.  I understand that giving or receiving unauthorized assistance during the test is cheating and may result in the invalidation of my test results."
There will also be an additional teacher in the classroom monitoring the test.  And students will be assigned a number that will be recorded on a seating chart and given to the state.

"The way it has been explained on a state level is that if 3 and 4 are right beside each other. They can go back and pull out a seating chart and see if those two kids have the same answers, so what it is, is putting them in order so that we make sure there is no cheating going on." said TAKS TEst Coordinator, Robin Terry.

Terry says the record will stay on file for five years.  T.E.A.. is making teachers more accountable too. They are being asked to sign an oath before administering the test.   This year they'll be asked to sign again after administering the test to make sure they were compliant with TAKS guidelines and to certify no cheating took place. 
Students say it's really hard to cheat on the TAKS test so they have mixed reaction to the new security guidelines. 

"I think that sometimes the more they stress out about it and freak you about it the more the more of a temptation it is because they are so like nervous about it, it makes you more nervous." That's what McKenzie Pack says about the new guidelines.

Some students says the pledge is just a piece of paper, but John David Terry says he'll take it very seriously.
"I've always been taught like to follow my word, so when I write something on paper that's giving my word that I won't do it, so yes I think it will deter me from cheating." 
Haly Cordell says it will help make students more accountable.

"I think it is necessary for the people who are cheating because the state will get a more accurate poll of how the schools really are doing."

That's exactly what the education agency hopes to do. They will also send random state montiors into schools and send test to an outside agency to be analyzed.  Some educators say the new guidelines will help, many more feel the best way to prevent cheating is to give students different versions of the taks test.  But the T.E.A. says that simply costs too much.

Here are some tips to help make sure your student is ready for the taks test. Have them get plenty of rest and go to bed early. Eat a healthy breakfast and wear comfortable clothes.  And if you're taking the test, make sure during the test you have a positive attitude and visualize yourself doing well. Remember to breathe, you have all day to take the test.