Seniors caught cheating on final exam

District: About 200 students involved

HOUSTON - Hundreds of seniors at a southeast Houston high school were caught cheating on a final exam last month, said Clear Creek Independent School District officials.

Teachers and administrators at Clear Lake High School grew suspicious when about a third of the seniors had the same answers on an English exam taken before winter break.

"We believe about 200 students engaged in cheating on the final exam for the English 4 test," said Elaina Polsen, Director of Communication for Clear Creek ISD.

The school district gave all 600 seniors two options: take the test again or have their semester grade calculated without the final exam in it.

"We are certainly not brushing this under the rug," said Polsen. "We are looking at our internal processes and making improvements where we need to to make sure this does not happen again."

"That's pretty bad," said Lisa Maxwell-Malik, whose son is a senior at Clear Lake. "It's disappointing."

Maxwell-Malik said officials from the school district called and emailed about the two options.

"I was a little disappointed that students would cheat, but also that they would wait until the day before school started to let the kids know they're going to have to repeat the test," she said. "They're going to have to study and take something when they thought they were down with [it] the first semester."

Alena Baker is a junior at Clear Lake but is graduating early. She said she heard rumors about the cheating during finals week.

Baker didn't take the test but says the lesson is simple.

"Just do the right thing because you don't want to have to be the one that made everyone retake the test," she said.

Disciplinary action against individuals who were caught cheating has not been determined because of the large number of students involved, said district officials.

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