National attention on a state report castigating Atlanta Public Schools for a deeply embedded culture of cheating, cover-ups and obstruction increased the pressure Wednesday on local school officials.Um, but the results are fraudulent.
They must decide starting today how the beleaguered district will deal with the fallout in its classrooms, in the larger Atlanta community and among national donors.
Those efforts, however, will coincide with a strident defense by former Atlanta Superintendent Beverly Hall, who “most definitely did not know of any widespread cheating” on standardized tests in 2009 or any other year, her lawyer said.
Meanwhile, teachers and others who work in the district or watch it closely said they hope the report’s release, nearly a year in the making, allows it to move on.
The most generous among of APS’ donors, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, set the tone Wednesday when it said it continues to support APS and the work it funds.
“The work we fund is making a difference for teachers and their students, and while we take this situation seriously, it shouldn’t prevent the district from doing what’s best for students,” said Christopher Williams, the foundation’s press secretary.
The Gates Foundation first awarded APS $10.5 million in 2007 to redesign the city’s high schools. Last year, it bestowed an additional $10 million in an ongoing effort to overhaul the city’s recruitment and support of teachers.
“The vast majority of the district’s educators, administrators and students have all worked hard to overcome great odds and earn stellar results,” Williams said.
Just imagine if we had a functioning Justice Department. They might even be interested in looking at possible criminal behavior.