Skip to comments.Atlanta schools created culture of cheating, fear (& some got AWARDS for it!)
Posted on 07/16/2011 12:19:24 PM PDT by Libloather
Atlanta schools created culture of cheating, fear
Published July 16, 2011
ATLANTA Teachers spent nights huddled in a back room, erasing wrong answers on students' test sheets and filling in the correct bubbles. At another school, struggling students were seated next to higher-performing classmates so they could copy answers.
Those and other confessions are contained in a new state report that reveals how far some Atlanta public schools went to raise test scores in the nation's largest-ever cheating scandal. Investigators concluded that nearly half the city's schools allowed the cheating to go unchecked for as long as a decade, beginning in 2001.
Administrators pressured to maintain high scores under the federal No Child Left Behind law punished or fired those who reported anything amiss and created a culture of "fear, intimidation and retaliation," according to the report released earlier this month, two years after officials noticed a suspicious spike in some scores.
The report names 178 teachers and principals, and 82 of those confessed. Tens of thousands of children at the 44 schools, most in the city's poorest neighborhoods, were allowed to advance to higher grades, even though they didn't know basic concepts.
One teacher told investigators the district was "run like the mob."
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
In support of your comments:
For teachers and their bosses, the stakes were high: Schools that perform poorly and fail to meet certain benchmarks under the federal law can face sharp sanctions. They may be forced to offer extra tutoring, allow parents to transfer children to better schools, or fire teachers and administrators who don't pass muster.
The schools could owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funding they received for good test performance money that would be lost at a time when the state's education budget has already been slashed by millions.
This is part of GW's No Child Left Behind Act. It also includes the further loss of federal funds if this goes on longer.
Many Freepers condemn Bush for the Education Bill but it was true reform and the chickens are just now coming home to roost.
And I wonder how many students you tutored had at one point taken home a “My Child is an Honor Roll Star Student” courtesy of the union “fool you all the time” mob?
wait—I know that California is pushing their whole “gay history” thing, but they aren’t seriously saying Lincoln was gay, right?
*Snicker* then maybe they will say that Booth was a spurned lover. Or a vicious homophobe.
But seriously—are they teaching Lincoln was gay?
Actually I’m proud of that, because they did get to the honour roll based on their effort and those of the parent.
I am thrilled to get them back on the honour roll.
Parents taking the time and the effort to get their kid properly educated should be celebrated.
Because rainbows are happy and gay, right? :)
Just curious...when you say they don’t understand the significance of the colors of the rainbow, what do you mean? From a physics/light spectrum standpoint? Because now I’m sitting here thinking: “Wait...are they significant in a way that I don’t understand?” All I know about the significance of the colors themselves is light frequency. Is there something else? I love learning new things.
A rainbow is actually not discrete, but has the full range of wavelengths spread out. If you have a non-colourized camera, you will see this in the shots.
What the eye sees in a rainbow are distinct bands that represent different sensitivities in the eyes. ROYGBIV. There’s reasons for each one that can be explained as to why it was important for the eye to distinguish between each one.
Now,try teaching optics to someone who’s never been taught that the difference between red and green is simply the wavelength of the light. First year student in college, and I swear I am telling the truth, had never been taught that colours correspond to different wavelengths.
I’m sure you did that. I didn’t make myself clear.
I’m talking about the ones who got the A’s but didn’t know the subject matter (the ones passed up the line w/o help) — where the report cards reflected fantasy and a mind not challenged. Billions spent and so much wasted.
Congratulation on your success and your students (and their parents).
They're Black so...it's taking a while to figure out how to explain that this couldn't possibly be their fault.
How does this sound: "The years of stress and strain of dealing with these poor, neglected, violent and abused children has been a dominating factor when these teachers and administrators took refuge in these acts."
It's racist to hold Black people responsible for anything.
Ahh, yeah. That *does* bother me. The real losers are the kids. I’d rather fail someone and scuff them up and challenge them. Doesn’t make me all that popular but I have been very grateful to the parents.
There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing someone who’s perplexed and confused come to you and say, “I used to be spending 4 or 5 hours on homework, and now I spend and hour and do better”.
As a freshman in college chemistry I was shocked my classmates could not do simple unit conversions. I almost cried of boredom because I teacher had to spend three weeks trying to teach these guys about molarity/molality/normality. They couldn't cross multiply, they had never heard of such a thing.
Cross multiplication. Really.
One of my favorite math teachers senior year of college confided in me that she frequently had students show up in her college algebra class who insisted that 1/7 was bigger than 1/5, or couldn't understand even other such pre-algebra concepts.
And that was just the math/science teachers. I minored in math but majored in English.
I did a peer review of one student's paper freshman year, and he wrote the phrase “acrost the street.” Also, students would actually WRITE “spost” [sic] instead of “supposed”. As an undergrad junior, I tutored a Master's student who could not understand where commas go. Her writing was really horrible, and so was her reading comprehension. I loved her; she was really sweet. I always wanted to ask her just how she managed to get her undergrad, though.
Learning about optics would be fun. Is that part of a physics class or computer science?
I’m a history major with about 60 credits in physics. So technically my major/minor would be History/Physics, but they don’t let you do that in my institution, so it’s just a history major.
The course I was doing was biology. I don’t have much of a biology background (chemistry, yes and physics, yes), but the demand is there, and since no one else was willing to help her get on board with nursing, it fell to me.
My optics was in grade 11/grade 12, part of a standard physics education. Can’t do physics without optics.
I think I like you. You’re an English/Maths major?! I’m not alone! :)
It's the systemic incentives created by the federal "No Child Left Behind" Act, among other things. Schools are penalized if scores don't come up. So if scores WON'T come up, then the teachers must cheat in order to evade sanctions.
What's worse is that "No Child" sanctions schools with too wide a gap between white and black students. So if black scores won't come up, then WHITE scores must be LOWERED.
There is no doubt his wife, Laura, a former teacher, was a strong proponent.
The problem, which even a blind man could have foreseen, is putting the careers and livelihoods of teachers on the line by standardized testing creates a strong motivation in teachers to help students cheat to maintain the careers and paychecks of the teachers.
The law tried to make teachers work harder to be better teachers. There are so many incompetent public school teachers who have no clue as to how to improve a child's learning, the law simply made test cheating the more practical and achievable goal.
This is no Neuremburg. This is the good old U S of A, with liberal judges, media backing,mixed race OJ & Casey Anthony juries, a Supreme Court that is one Judge away from being a laughing stock, and Obama the Emperor of the North Pole.
As this unfolds, it will be interesting to learn how she got 44 schools, 178 teachers, and principals to participate in this. And how she kept the ones who didn't participate from blowing the whistle on the others. Unreal.
As always the real culprit condemns condemnation. School administration needs the stusents to score high so their districts can rate higher that they put pressure on teachers. In schools that rate low, both principals and teachers are at risk of losing their jobs, so cheating occurs.