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.