L.A. Now Live: Schools lose academic ratings after cheating claims

Join us at 9 a.m. when we talk with Times reporter Howard Blume about five Los Angeles County schools stripped of state standardized test scores after claims that teachers helped students cheat, among other alleged misconduct.

Details about the alleged misconduct were included in school district reports obtained by The Times through a public records request filed with the California Department of Education. The reports showed that suspected cheating was isolated, usually one teacher acting alone. And the number of affected campuses was small in a state with more than 10,000 schools.

The L.A. County school districts affected were those in Burbank, Claremont, Compton, Pasadena and Torrance. Elsewhere in the region, problems arose in Fontana, Lancaster, Ontario-Montclair, Orange and San Diego.

In all, 27 California schools this year lost their academic rating, an increase from 23 last year.

Losing ratings is damaging because a school needs them to meet performance targets. Schools that fail to achieve those targets over several years are exposed to sanctions such as the loss of some funding or even the wholesale removal of administrators and faculty.

The academic score also is important to parents looking for schools and real estate agents gauging local home values.

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