Skip to comments.APS testing coordinator accused of organizing cheating
Posted on 04/14/2012 4:15:27 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
One by one, they swore to tell the truth. One by one, they sat in a witness chair and told a similar tale of suggestion, persuasion and pressure.
During the first day Friday of what is expected to be a two-day tribunal, former and current teachers at Atlanta's Usher Elementary School pointed a collective finger of blame at Donald Bullock Friday as the mastermind behind test cheating at that school.
Bullock's attorney, Daniel Digby, said his client did nothing wrong.
Atlanta Public Schools, however, laid out a 16-point letter of charges against Bullock, who served as testing coordinator at Usher in 2009, when students there took the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test. APS is seeking to fire Bullock and nearly 100 other educators who were implicated in a landmark test-cheating investigation. They are on paid leave and costing the district about $1 million a month. Overall, 180 APS employees were accused of test cheating.
The allegations against Bullock are the first detailed descriptions of deliberate, organized cheating beyond Parks Middle School, where the investigation turned up allegations of the most egregious cheating. At Parks, teachers told investigators of answer-changing parties among other wrongdoing.
At Usher Elementary, Bullock, according to testimony, collected completed tests then gave them back to some teachers so they could change wrong answers to right. Some teachers said Bullock pressured them to cheat. Others said they refused to cooperate.
Stacey Smith, a former third-grade teacher in her second year on the job, testified she took the tests from Bullock and spent 30 to 45 minutes changing incorrect answers to correct ones.
Smith said Bullock used what he knew of her -- that she had limited experience, that she needed her job to offer financial assistance to extended family members -- to pressure her to change answers....
(Excerpt) Read more at ajc.com ...
All the children are above average ...
At least, bus teachers to different schools so they aren't administering their own students tests.
Interestingly enough a metro county was recently disparaged for not having enough “diversity” in its teaching staff by a parent. I wonder if that parent, who most likely moved so her child could be in a county with decent school rankings, would like to see her child taught by the APS “diverse” teachers who thought only of themselves while doing the cheating.
“At least, bus teachers to different schools so they aren’t administering their own students tests. “
What, so they can erase and change the answers that are correct (to pull down the average)? Just kidding. It’s like leaving a Penthouse Magazine on a guy’s desk at work and telling him he’ll get fired if he opens it.
I don’t know why you added “just kidding” after your perfectly reasonable suggestion, unless it’s because the idea that the teachers might recognize correct answers is humorous.
“I dont know why you added just kidding after your perfectly reasonable suggestion, unless its because the idea that the teachers might recognize correct answers is humorous.”
LOL. I was thinking that also. Exactly how did the teachers know which answers were right?
I was only following orders...
They must have all been issued answer keys, which is a very strange policy. When I’ve proctored tests, I didn’t have an answer key! On the other hand, I knew the answers for grade-school work ...
Here’s a thought or two: FIRE each and every one of these “educators” and then blackball them from ever working in the education field again. Give them a one time cash payout of their retirement plans so it’s counted as income and taxed as ordinary income in the year received. Show these Donkeys what happens when Donkey tax law is applied to them.
Why was all the cheating necessary?
Teachers didn’t teach?
This is the best these students can do?
These people were real Einsteins. Didn’t they realize once they started cheating they’d be locked into it forever or their students’ scores would show even worse “improvement” the next year?
“After Number of Gifted Soars, a Fight for Kindergarten Slots”
Nearly 5,000 children qualified for gifted and talented kindergarten seats in New York City public schools in the fall, 22 percent more than last year and more than double the number four years ago, setting off a fierce competition for the most sought-after programs in the system.
On their face, the results, released on Friday by the Education Department, paint a portrait of a city in which some neighborhoods appear to be entirely above average. In Districts 2 and 3, which encompass most of Manhattan below 110th Street, more students scored at or above the 90th percentile on the entrance exam, the cutoff point, than scored below it.
But experts pointed to several possible reasons for the large increase. For one, more middle-class and wealthy parents are staying in the city and choosing to send their children to public schools, rather than moving to the suburbs or pursuing increasingly expensive private schools. And the switch to a test-based admissions system four years ago has given rise to test-preparation services, from booklets costing a few dollars to courses costing hundreds or more, raising concerns that the tests results were being skewed.”.................
Ah. You know how to push my buttons. I'm still stunned, after reading the entire (what, 400 page?) Georgia report that resulted in the APS scandal, at how high the bar was before a school was even considered a suspected cheater in Georgia.
I'm still stunned that administrators who left the sinking APS ship because of their involvement were hired elsewhere in the country, as administrators and consultants.
I'm still stunned that THE APS rehired at least one of them, and other school districts in the metro Atlanta area hired others of them.
I'm still stunned by the findings in the long-term Atlanta Journal/Constitution study regarding the amount of obvious cheating going on throughout the nation.
I'm stunned at the number of teachers who justify it and say they had no choice.
And - like most conservatives who thought No Child Left Behind was a bad program when it was initially passed - I'm stunned by concepts such as the one that, each year, a school's fifth grade class must do better on the standardized tests than the fifth grade class did the year before. Every year. If a school's fifth graders averaged an 88 this, year, then they must average more than an 88 next year, or the school fails. Two years in a row, and your school is publicly ID'd as a failure. With each successive year, the penalties get worse - including some loss of funding, parents being able to pull their kids away (and if the bright kids are pulled away, is that going to help the school catch up on scores?), and the government getting involved in plans for your school.
if you've reached the point where you have fifth graders averaging a 98, then you 'failed' as a school if your fifth graders average only an identical (but not better) 98 the next year, or a 97.9998, notwithstanding that your school's demographics change, that you have more students for whom English is the second language, that districts have been redrawn and you may have students who didn't receive the benefit of your school's programs in years K-3 or 4, that you have more students in your classrooms each year . . ..
No Child Left Behind is madness, for the most part - yet madness is not a reason to cheat.
Not all grades are tested for Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) under the No Child Left Behind Act. States have some leeway in selecting the tested grades.
As a result, it may matter in your state what the fifth graders score each year, but it may not matter at all what the sixth graders score.
It those cases, it mattered what today's sixth graders scored in the fifth grade and will matter again what they score in a later grade, but not what they score this year in the sixth grade.
So a school only has to make certain that certain grades score higher than those particular grades did the year before - 'better than the year before' = "Annual Yearly Progress."
The penalties and corrections under No Child Left Behind kick in if your school fails to meet AYP two or more years in a row.
Are you officially a ‘mastermind’ if you hafta cheat? Just wondering.