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Atlanta Cheating Scandal: How Minnesota Rules Would Have Prevented It

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MANKATO , MINN. -

School officials in Mankato say the massive teacher cheating scandal in Atlanta couldn't happen in Minnesota.

35 teachers, including a former Superintendent of the year have been asked to turn themselves in to law enforcement facing racketeering charges after being accused of changing answers on standardized tests, hoping to attain cash bonuses -- rewards not available in Minnesota.

And Minnesota also doesn't put all their eggs into the standardized test basket.

Mankato Area Schools Testing Coordinator Gwen Walz says, "It's not just about giving that test, it's ultimately about finding results that we can use to improve student achievement and help improve teacher instruction."

Each state has there own way of trying to improve test scores.

While Minnesota focused on evaluations and growth, in Georgia they offered bonuses, as high as $15,000, and the jump in test scores was truly monumental.

But investigators believe that improvement was all a mirage, formed by teachers getting together and changing their students answers to the right ones.

And school administrators here say that's a situation they are intent on avoiding.

Mankato Superintendent Sheri Allen says, "What we don't want to do is create such importance around one particular test that people feel that pressure. We want to have a healthy learning environment. To me, when it gets so specific that people feel they have to go to an extreme of something that's not in their nature, there's a bigger picture and a bigger question to ask."