Department spokesman Daren Briscoe told USA Today valid student performance data is essential and "even the hint of testing misconduct can undermine school reform efforts."
The move follows a USA Today investigation that found high erasure rates on standardized tests in many District of Columbia public schools.
Six months ago Georgia's governor released findings of a major investigation that found widespread cheating in Atlanta public schools.
The 2002 No Child Left Behind education reform law relies heavily on standardized testing in reading and math.
The education department served notice in the Federal Register this week it intends to publish "best practices" recommendations on how to prevent, detect and respond to cheating in schools.
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