Are They Learning?
This NYT editorial has it exactly right (some might be surprised to hear this, but the NYT editorial page has been very good on this issue – it's some of the reporting, in particular by Michael Winerip, that's been egregious):
Test haters will inevitably blame the standardized testing mandated by the federal No Child Left Behind act for inducing this kind of misconduct. The tests remain a crucial gauge of student performance and an indicator of how much academic progress schools are making. It's the cheats who need to go, not the tests.
To restore integrity to the Atlanta system, which serves mainly impoverished children, state and city officials need to improve test security and make sure that those involved in cheating lose their teaching certifications and never work in classrooms again.
July 16, 2011