The office was created in 2007 under former Gov. Jon Corzine, a new team of investigators who would root out irregularities and wrongdoing in New Jersey schools.
In the beginning, the Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance (OFAC) was just a few men and women with no subpoena powers. Still, it did get some enforcement chops under the leadership of Robert Cicchino, the former commanding officer of internal affairs for the state police.
Six years later, OFAC is becoming one of the state Department of Education’s higher-profile divisions, leading investigations into more than two dozen schools for possible irregularities on state testing.
And it’s about to get more help, at least for the time being.
This week, the state announced another eight schools would be investigated, each of them flagged for an inordinate number of answers changed from wrong to right on the 2012 NJASK.
The changes are traced by computer scanning of erasures on the answer sheets, a technology that is becoming the predominant first step in test security.
State Education Commissioner Chris Cerf stressed in a letter to districts this week that just flagging of schools for investigations is not an assumption of guilt. He also pointed out that the number of schools and incidents has dropped dramatically.
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