Rumors on Social Networking Site Could Affect Testing Results


False rumors spread on a social networking Web site could affect the outcome of performance testing in a school district, according to coverage in The Gateway News, a newspaper in Portage County, Ohio. The rumors started after a fight took place at Streetsboro Middle School, involving six students. That same night, postings on the unnamed social networking site said a gang from a nearby town had entered the school that day with chains and had injured teachers. Because of the rumors, about 100 students didn't go to school on the first day in which they were to begin achievement tests.

The absences were further compounded when the district didn't receive a sufficient number of read-aloud tests, which were used by special education students, from the Ohio Department of Education.

The result, according to the account by reporter Miles Jung-Kilbreath, was that the students who needed the most time for the test--special education--received the least amount.

The principal of the middle school sent out a recorded message to parents, explaining that the gang fight rumors were false, which generated a number of calls to the district. The district also increased the number of police officers visible during student dismissal at the end of the day. No further incidents have occurred, according to the newspaper.

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About the author: Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at [email protected].

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About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.