MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Memphis City Schools are on the defensive after an in-depth analysis found suspicious test scores.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution looked at test schools for thousands of public school systems. Two hundred school systems, including Memphis, were reported to have problems.
The analysis doesn't prove cheating actually took place, but found test scores in Memphis followed a troubling pattern that indicates cheating.
When it comes to proving if Memphis students have cheated on standardized tests, MCS parent Conkeesta Johnson says truth is, "There could be some cheating going on, we don't know."
An analysis of test scores found more than ten percent of MCS classes were red flagged. Meaning test scores shifted outside the norm and scores may have been inflated.
School board member Kenneth Whalum said, "My initial thought is that I am not surprised that in the environment of test scores and that every one has to teach to the test, and we got to make sure that we make the grade on the test."
The truth is MCS officials disagree with the findings. Dr. Kriner Cash questions the methods used in the investigation.
In a statement, MCS says it is confident in its testing procedures and no systemic cheating has occurred.
"I am not surprised Dr. Cash opposed to method or the results," noted Whalum. "The sad thing is that he is not in a position to prove otherwise."
In addition to Memphis, the West Memphis school district and Jackson, Tennessee were also listed as having suspicious test scores.
Parents seem to be standing by the students.
"They are probably suspicious of the test score because the scores rose," said parent Ed Davis.
"If you're not doing good on there then you are, they talk about you, and when you start doing good they think you're cheating. That's crazy," added Tonya Gentry.
Despite claims from MCS that no cheating has occurred, Whalum says, "There is no doubt in my mind that the school board will go to great lengths to find out what the situation is," but says truth is, "this kind of thing will get its fair share of attention and when it dies down schools in Memphis will still probably be failing."
The Tennessee Department of Education will review the study with their experts and then determine the appropriate next step.