Saturday, March 30, 2013

Speechless...

... almost.

Ex-Schools Chief in Atlanta Is Indicted in Testing Scandal
During his 35 years as a Georgia state investigator, Richard Hyde has persuaded all sorts of criminals — corrupt judges, drug dealers, money launderers, racketeers — to turn state’s evidence, but until Jackie Parks, he had never tried to flip an elementary school teacher.
...
Ms. Parks admitted to Mr. Hyde that she was one of seven teachers — nicknamed “the chosen” — who sat in a locked windowless room every afternoon during the week of state testing, raising students’ scores by erasing wrong answers and making them right. She then agreed to wear a hidden electronic wire to school, and for weeks she secretly recorded the conversations of her fellow teachers for Mr. Hyde.

Read the whole story. Frankly, I'm surprised that the NYT ran the story, it's that bad. Teachers were expected to assist in the cheating; school principals were replaced in 9 out of 10 schools; the superintendent made over a half-million dollars in bonuses in her seven year tenure basically through widespread, rampant, unchecked raw cheating. Whether it was avarice or pride that led to the cheating, one thing is certain: thousands of children were cheated of the education they deserved; hundreds of teachers were forced to participate in behavior absolutely contrary to what is right; and the damage done by the culture of corruption and cheating will have implications for decades.

It's hard to imagine the hell those teachers went through. They knew they were doing something wrong; most of the teachers "chosen" were single moms who couldn't afford to lose their teaching jobs. That is nothing short of despicable - this evil person chose teachers who were the most likely to do whatever they needed to keep their jobs and held the threat of firing over their heads. These teachers were forced to cheat - both on the tests themselves and also their students out of an education - with the constant sword of Damocles of termination should they not live up to expectations.

45 years in prison seems a bit light, if you ask me...


That is all.

Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)

3 comments:

Bill O' Rites said...

Thus the "progressives" work for their goal of a so-called egalitarian society.
Cheating is the easy path & they have never been known to expend effort where subterfuge will suffice.

TigerStripe said...

Schools are set up to teach every student as if they were all going to attend graduate school. Quite a few won't. Every student should learn the basics and held to a strict standard early. Later a student should be able to choose a college track or vocational one.

No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top end up doing the opposite of what their stated aim is.

TS

Dirk said...

As a Georgia parent (though my kids are not in that school system), it does not surprise me in the least that this happened. There is SO much pressure on teachers and administrators to show improvement on this test, it's a wonder this kind of thing is not far more widespread. And maybe it is, but they just haven't been caught yet.

The entire curriculum of the schools my kids go to is geared towards what will be on this end-all, be-all test. Just as one example - early in elementary school, when the kids should be drilling on their times tables and single-digit arithmetic, they're learning (literally!) six different ways to do calculations - because they're expected to be able to do this for the test.

I understand that different kids learn things in different ways, but this is overkill. Not to mention they change all the terminology to fit what the test uses. No, it's not an equation. It's now a number story - just to use the most annoying example that comes to mind.