BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore school system has hired a data forensics company to review thousands of standardized test results as part of an investigation of alleged cheating.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the city school board approved a $275,000 contract with Caveon last week. The company has also been tapped to investigate cheating cases in Washington and Atlanta public schools. It will review 8,000 test booklets from 2009 and 2010.

The school system is investigating possible cheating at more than a dozen schools that saw test scores drop dramatically in the past three years. Schools chief Andres Alonso has fired principals at several schools where cheating was suspected.

Principals union president Jimmy Gittings says the contract with Caveon is a waste of money and that Alonso’s suspicions about cheating are wrong.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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