Thursday, July 07, 2011

Systematic Cheating Is Found in Atlanta’s School System

The cheating scandal is Atlanta is a total disgrace and has important lessons:

A state investigation released Tuesday showed rampant, systematic cheating on test scores in this city's long-troubled public schools, ending two years of increasing skepticism over remarkable improvements touted by school leaders.

The administration of former superintendent Beverly L. Hall punished whistle-blowers, hid or manipulated information and altered documents, the investigation found.

The results of the investigation, made public by Gov. Nathan Deal, showed that the cheating occurred at 44 schools and involved at least 178 teachers and principals, almost half of whom have confessed, the governor said.

Defenders of the status quo will surely try to use this scandal to try to roll back any type of accountability system, but (as always) they'll be wrong.  Of course adults who are lousy at their jobs will try to cheat if they worry about being exposed and possibly losing their jobs – we reformers need to be VERY aware of this.  But the answer to this is to make sure that cheating is difficult – and the consequences for doing so severe.  For example, I think every teacher who cheated should be fired immediately and charges should be brought against Beverly Hall. 


By the way, I'll be especially curious to hear what Ravitch has to say about this, given that in her latest book she held up Atlanta as a paragon, where the superintendent cared about teachers, etc., and favorably contrasted it with San Diego, NY, etc.



Systematic Cheating Is Found in Atlanta's School System

Published: July 5, 2011

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