"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

National Lessons to be Learned from Studying Atlanta Cheating Scandal

From Bob Schaeffer, posted at ARN:
Two excellent news stories put the Atlanta scandal in a national context and began examining the root causes of cheating.

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/05/atlanta-public-schools-cheating_n_890526.html

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2011/0705/America-s-biggest-teacher-and-principal-cheating-scandal-unfolds-in-Atlantahttp://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2011/0705/America-s-biggest-teacher-and-principal-cheating-scandal-unfolds-in-Atlanta

The full Georgia Office of Special Investigators' report was just posted online -- no time to read its 400+ pages, let alone digest them, but a quick scan finds these superb quotations (it is informative to substitute the words "Bush and Obama administrations" and "Arne Duncan" in appropriate places to see the national implications of this story).
WHY CHEATING OCCURRED

Three primary conditions led to widespread cheating on the 2009 CRCT"

- The targets set by the district were often unreasonable, especially given their cumulative effect over the years. Additionally, the administration put unreasonable pressure on teaches and principals to achieve targets;

- A culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation spread throughout the district; and,

- Dr Hall and her administration emphasized test results and public praise to the exclusion of integrity and ethics."

  http://www.ajc.com/news/volume-3volume-3-conclusions-why-1000781.html  p. 350

and

"What has become clear through our investigation is that ultimately, the data and meeting 'targets' by whatever means necessary, became more important than true academic progress" (p. 356).
Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing

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