Here are two comments from friends about the scandal:
This ATL cheating scandal prompted me to go back and read the portion in The Tipping Point on student cheating: http://books.google.com/books?id=yBDBEGBIUmgC&pg=PT49&lpg=PT49&dq=tipping+point+gladwell++students+cheating&source=bl&ots=JGMtUgwbsq&sig=xqHcAoxdvuUKqb4gZZdd0mKujEc&hl=en&ei=WjYkToiDLI6s0AG_162wAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
Cheating is the result of attaching economic incentives to cheat. No one should be surprised at this, nor should we accept other 'amazing' stories of turnarounds. Trust but Verify. Barry Bonds, Mark Maguire, Floyd Landis, Lance Armstrong, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Marion Jones...the list is endless and now the teaching community joins the hall of shame.
"If we spent as much time teaching kids as showing them the answer, they might have learned to read"
- no time was spent showing anyone the answer, the answers were changed by teachers and in most cases did not involve the students. What is even worse is inducing kids to cheat. When teachers are promoting unethical and criminal behavior then dismissal is not enough...jail time is needed
- And is Atlanta going after the bonuses that were paid? And if not why not? or is the lesson here that crime DOES pay? Another morality lesson for students as we turn out the future Enron-esque leaders of the future.
- Doing the statistical analysis on test answers is very straightforward and if it was done in Atlanta then it was done elsewhere and perhaps everywhere. If it's too good to be true...it isn't true.
- And let's go to the PISA tests...does anyone think that foreign governments aren't gaming that system as well? Can anyone explain to me why we should care that China's performance on PISA which just included Shanghai, and likely was cherry-picked within Shanghai didn't have any cheating? Are we now to believe the Chinese are more moral than the Atlanta criminals when the Chinese have even more at stake? I think not.