Shay Weighs in on the Atlanta Schools Cheating Scandal
Teachers and administrators in Atlanta, Georgia are turning themselves in for cheating and it could mean prosecution; not just a trip to the principals office. A total of 35 former educators and administrators are in trouble for falsifying and altering answers on students standardized test scores.
In theory standardized testing of students is a way for school districts to see how well they are learning important information. It also is a way for districts to earn extra money. Based on test scores a district can be awarded bonuses.
The teachers were caught making changes to students test answers which in turn improved their schools/districts scores and gained them bonuses. In one case a $78,000 bonus for a superintendent; that's why one of the charges these teachers will face is 'racketeering'.
The "No Child Left Behind Act" which is where a lot of this standardized testing came from. Teacher's are no longer allowed to just teach curriculum, they have to teach the kids to simply pass the testing. Trust me, talk to any teacher and they will give you an ear full on all of this! My mom is retired now after 40+ years of teaching; and those last few years were no longer fun, they were just highly stressful.
Bonuses are good if applied in the right manner, but as you can see they can also become a point of greed. The kids aren't learning anything and the, not so honest, are reaping the rewards...well, until they get caught.
We try to teach our children values and honesty and to work hard and these teachers are suppose to be role models. Not only did they hurt themselves they've hurt the kids too. The kids study and stress over their performance on these tests and that all seems for nothing now. It's not just stress on the kids but the teachers as well; they have to perform well or their jobs could be in jeopardy. But cheating is not the way to achieve your goal.