The Shameful Case of Georgia’s Cheating

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This really is sad.  Even many elementary school teachers and administrators have been infected by the ‘how can we get the most money’ profit motive of Universities and Colleges, driving them to go so far as to cheat on standardized tests so they can get bonuses and rewards.  Not only should Atlanta be ashamed, but all those who took part should be fired.  Cheaters are a scourge and a disease on integrity and morality.

More than 50 schools in Atlanta were flagged for cheating, but the district chose to investigate only a dozen. And many critics, including the governor, complained that officials did not question enough teachers and administrators to find out who was responsible. … The tests are given to children in grades 1-8. The results determine whether schools meet federal benchmarks under the No Child Left Behind Act. Good scores mean high praise and cash bonuses. Failure to meet standards could mean losing hundreds of thousands in federal dollars, and could cost teachers and administrators their jobs.

As if any more evidence were needed that the whole No Child Left Behind act is a farce and a fiasco. Now teachers don’t teach, they teach for tests. They do nothing but test prep- because the all important idiocy of a federal law looming over their heads like the sword of Damocles keeps them from doing their jobs. Teaching for tests- that’s the best way of all the ensure that teaching doesn’t happen. Real teaching is instruction in and for itself, not as a means to a testy end.

At the end of the day it’s the government that has created the environment and conditions for cheating. The government encourages cheating by enacting idiotic laws which fail miserably to take into account both the methods and aims of schooling.

4 thoughts on “The Shameful Case of Georgia’s Cheating

  1. The “Government”? A faceless entity? I don’t think so. There are actual people out there pushing this simplistic approach to education.

    Of course, you are correct. Cheating is a feature of the system, not a bug.

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  2. But there are also schools on that list that are there because they actually taught their kids and just had unusually high test scores for their population. If you are accused of cheating because your kids did a lot better than some of your peer’s kids it does not make a lot of incentive to really push your kids.

    My wife’s a teacher. In Chicago the teacher next to her was accused of cheating because her kids did really well. The district came in and retested all of her kids with proctors and her out of the room and the kids did even better. Not a word of “I am sorry for accusing you” because the principal didn’t like her (my wife as a new teacher was told she was not allowed to talk to the only other third grade teacher in the school.)

    There clearly were schools that cheated. But there others that did not. One school that a friend of mine’s church has adopted was accused of cheating without any evidence. All teachers and staff were interviewed and there was no evidence that any cheating actually happened (although in this case there was not any re-testing). The church provided two outfits (one at Christmas and one at the beginning of the school year), a toy at Christmas for every student and hundreds of hours of volunteer tutoring. At the same time most teachers were volunteering for an hour a day to give lower students extra help.

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    • they were accused of cheating because of the extremely high number of erasures and the suspicions that aroused followed by comments by students that some teachers did in fact give answers. not just because the kids actually did better.

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  3. Actually, they will lose their jobs if they are found guilty of cheating because they will lose their teaching credentials. It will probably end their careers. Actually, it was not a “high number of erasures,” but a high number of erasures that went from incorrect to correct, as flagged on a machine. A state average of this was ascertained and if schools and then classrooms were a certain percentage over this, they were flagged and investigated. As a retired teacher of 31 years in public schools, I can say unequivocally that there are ethical educators, just as there are unethical educators. The same is true in all professions. In this case, it appears the unethical ones were also rather stupid.
    Dennis

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