Tuesday, July 05, 2011

When the Educators Cheat

The results of a massive investigation in the government school system in Georgia, one which involved outside agencies such as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), has revealed what everybody in the state knew. With the release of the report we now have the hard evidence of just how poorly served your children are by those tasked with educating them.
In a report that Gov. Nathan Deal planned to release today, the investigators name nearly 180 educators, including more than three dozen principals, as participants in cheating on state curriculum tests, officials said over the weekend. The investigators obtained scores of confessions.

The findings suggest the national accolades that Hall and the school system have collected — and the much-vaunted academic progress for which she claimed credit — were based on falsehoods. Raising test scores apparently became a higher priority than conducting the district’s business in an ethical manner.
Those in academia of course are spraying excuses in all directions blaming everything from the color of paint on the classroom walls to the No Child Left Behind standards. Let me say this about the NCLB: while laudable in its goal, no reasonable person could have expected it to succeed in the real world. Some people are going to fail. Life sucks, but that is the truth. While it is noble to want help the failures at some point, you have hand them an apron and teach them to ask the customer if they want fries with their order.

Teachers are blaming the lack of parent involvement, which is really hypocritical when they constantly tell parents that they are not adequate when it comes to educating their kids, and over the years have sought to seize more and more control over your child. Administrators are blaming poverty, which will come as news for some of our past presidents, whom I seem to recall rose to the highest office in the land after spending a childhood in a log cabin with no running water or electricity and studied by candlelight.

No, what happened in Georgia, and mainly in Atlanta, is administrators wishing to keep drawing their six-figure salaries started fudging the data and in turn exerted pressure on the teachers. Teachers being predisposed to moral weakness and imbued with a philosophy that there is no right or wrong, only varying degrees of gray which can always be explained away to justify one's actions joined in. Soon these educators no longer knew right from wrong and cheating on tests and fudging data on other reports just became the accepted standard. It isn't just the competency tests that were changed, most other areas related to reporting of information related to the NCLB rules were also.
The investigators’ report, officials said, depicts a culture that rewarded cheaters, punished whistle-blowers and covered up improprieties.
Administrators no longer accurately reported bullying or assaults at their schools. Absenteeism was modified to show no problems and when it absolutely, positively became imperative to suspend a student it was more then likely an honor student for some sort of violation of the Zero Tolerance policy then it was the gang-banger selling crack in the hallway.
The report’s release comes less than a week after Hall departed from the district. It is likely to provide the harshest critique to date of her 12-year tenure, which reached an apex in 2009 when she was named Superintendent of the Year for the nation. [ed-Beverly Hall was the Superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools]
This report, while conducted in Georgia, and concentrated mainly on the Atlanta school system, could have been done anywhere; it is just that the governor could no longer ignore the smell and is indeed an indictment of the government-run school system. A system that is corrupt and dysfunctional at all levels, and like drug addicts, they seek to affix blame everywhere but where it belongs.

UPDATE: This thing is bigger then anybody imagined. Basically if you have a kid in the Atlanta School system they are screwed thanks to those wonderful professional "teachers" and "administrators". The full report is here. I don't know where the kids go to repair the damage. The next time you see your local teachers union out on strike or protesting, drop a copy of this report at their feet. If it happened in Atlanta you have to wonder how many other places it has/is occurring. A powerful indictment of academia in this country which so easily leaves their morals at the door.

Thanks to Instapundit for the link. Make sure to read today's update to this story. Yes, it gets worse.


roux said...

Don't worry she'll move on to a bigger and better job somewhere else. There's nothing they are better at than scamming the next community school district out of millions of dollars.

Rick said...

The problem with all government programs is that skewed incentives. When lying is incentivized, you get lying. Duh. The obvious question is to ask, what is the difference in result of actually having a good school and appearing on government reports to have a good school. The answer is nothing. Which is easier?

southernsue said...

we should privatize all school.

it should be treated like a business.

it's time we make school fun and challeging for our kids.

there could be schools for slow learners, high learners, kids with behavoiral problems, ect.

we need to look at different ways to teach our kids and by privatizing schools this could be achieved. it would boost creative ways to teach.imho

get rid of all this education beauracracy junk that lines corrupt people's pockets.  and our kids and us taxpayer parents are left out to dry

Doug said...

Yawn. My previous school district had a funny schedule for the 9-12 grade high school. It wasn't working, so they came up with a plan just for the 9th graders. The year before that program, any 9th grader who could breath and had a pulse was promoted to the 10th grade. Naturally, the state mandated test scores for 10th graders were awful. The next year, the 9th grade consisted of, what the principal referred to as "virgin 9th graders", not a repeat 9th grader amongst them. Naturally, the weaker students in the 9th grade were flunked, and among that year's weak 10th grade, Everybody was promoted to the 11th grade. Surprise, surprise, when the select 9th graders became 10th graders, and were tested, the results were superb. Tne new principal and superintendent both collected merit pay bonuses. Naturally, the following year the 10th grade scores were even lower than they had been before. Merit pay raises are not refundable. Looks like cheating to me.

My Site (click to edit) said...

<span>"This report, while conducted in Georgia, and concentrated mainly on the Atlanta school system . . ."</span>

Actually, the report concentrates exclusively on the Atlanta Public Schools district. The investigation was requested by the former Gov. Sonny Perdue who appointed two former district prosecutors to lead the probe. Originally, the scope of the investigation was to include the Dougherty County School System in southwest Georgia, but that part of the probe was dropped. Atlanta Public Schools serves about 55,000 students within the city limits of Atlanta. There are several other larger public school systems, and a few smaller public school systems, that serve students in suburban Atlanta. This report, as well as a previous investigation and the extensive ongoing media coverage by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, focuses only on Atlanta Public Schools and should not be construed as involving any other school district in Atlanta or Georgia.

laZrtx said...

recall all the kids and make the cheating teachers teach for free as punishment.

laZrtx said...

merit increases were given under fraud, federal laws are broken, put them in prison if they don't pay the monies back.

Doug said...

The problem is that "good" neighborhoods have "good" schools. Those good neighborhoods have two-parent homes with steady incomes and moral values. Good families make their children do their homework, communicate high expectations with their children and their schools. Some testing is necessary: NCLB is rediculous. The only surprise is that in Atlanta they were so blatant, they were caught, and they might be punished. I deplore racial discrimination. The testing companies are making billions proving what we already know about our schools.

David Govett said...

I'm thankful I went through the educational system when teachers were proud of their profession--for a profession it used to be, not a sinecure for the sole benefit of the teachers and administrators.