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Unfathomable Scandal In Atlanta

So here is something that received relatively little attention in skeptical circles.  This is one of the most nefarious cases of fraud and conspiracy that I can ever recall in American education history.  It has been unfolding since late last year, and has gained national attention in recent days due to the sheer numbers of education “professionals” that have confessed their involvement.

Georgia state investigators have uncovered a decade of organized, systemic cheating in the Atlantic school district by scores of educators, including 38 principals, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.  The probe found a culture that rewarded cheaters, punished whistle-blowers and covered up improprieties, the newspaper says. It accuses district leaders of hampering the investigators’ work.

Watch this video report from Associated Press, and you will see the appropriate level of outrage that the community is feeling today.

People in Atlanta should be beside themselves. The teachers, principals, and other board of education officials involved need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  The governor of Georgia has already said these people will never be allowed in public schools ever again (sounds good, but we’ll see how and if that holds up in court.)

Something to keep in mind:  this is the result of one investigation in to one school system in one state.  It is scary to think that this might also be occurring in school systems elsewhere, especially in urban areas.  The motivation to meet federal education standards (and the federal funding that goes hand-in-hand with the test results) outweighs the well-being of the students and the taxes that parents have contributed to keep these “educators” employed. This is entirely unacceptable.

These cheaters, frauds, and conspirators in Atlanta need to be punished for the decade of damage that they have caused to the people in this community.

 

 

 

 

3 comments to Unfathomable Scandal In Atlanta

  • This nonsense was the predictable outcome of our absurd attitude toward education financing in this country. NCLB, teaching to the test, busting teachers unions. We’ve been treating teaching as a second class occupation for so long it does not surprise me at all that things have devolved to this point.

    Can you imagine recommending one of your children becoming a schoolteacher in this day and age? It’s like volunteering to be poor.

  • My wife is a school teacher in Maryland, and when I showed her this article she said this thing happens more often than reported in the media. Her district disciplined a group of teachers and a principal a few years ago for this same exact thing.

  • I could be wrong, but if memory serves, the guys who wrote Freakonomics used data-mining techniques to detect cheating in Chicago schools, and that had to have been c. 2005 or maybe earlier.

    It’s not really that shocking. Of course, if teachers would just teach the material they were supposed to, the students’ test results would reflect that, and there’d be no need to cheat, or “teach to the test.” We’re simply finding here that human nature is simply what we’ve always known it to be … folks will always take the easiest route (whatever it is) that gets them where they need to do, without regard to whether or not they should use that route.

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