Author Topic: The Atlanta cheating scandal: The REAL culprits  (Read 3754 times)

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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The Atlanta cheating scandal: The REAL culprits
« on: July 17, 2011, 01:11:32 am »
I watched CNN this morning and I saw a segment where the new head of public education in Atlanta called for the resignation of teachers implicated in the scandal.

Of course, what he didn't call for was people like Eli Broad, Bill Gates, Michelle Rhee, Eva Moskowitz and others to take their part in the scandal as well. While none of these individuals were teachers in Atlanta, they most certaintly setup the circumstance that caused the scandal.

The aforementioned individuals turned public education into a corporate rat-race complete with all the perversion and inhumanity that comes with it. I don't know exactly what happened in Atlanta but given the attack that is under way against public education in America, I have a pretty good idea what took place.

These teachers, with full knowledge of the administration, felt compelled to manipulate test scores to insure that the already challenged students didn't receive even less funding because of diminished scores. You see, legitimate test scores earned through hardwork, perserverance and struggle aren't good enough. Those scores aren't good enough because in the real world, change isn't an event, its a process. While teachers, students and parents may work hard to achieve better grades for their schools, those improvements may not come in time for the next election, or more importantly the next corporate propaganda campaign.

I really hope that these teachers do not resign and ultimately force Atlanta school officials to defend educational policy that was not developed by educators but rather corporate predators.

To those Atlanta residents on the board and otherwise, you can take solace in this fact. The same scandal is waiting to be unleashed in NYC where much of this fraudulent educational policy has had its origin. When that happens a true reckoning will take place.


Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: The Atlanta cheating scandal: The REAL culprits
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2011, 02:54:23 pm »
From what I've read so far, blaming the teachers would be very wrong.  At the very least, the adminstrators who enforced this "cheat or else" culture need to be held accountable. 

Offline Lion

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Re: The Atlanta cheating scandal: The REAL culprits
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2011, 05:46:57 pm »
One of the myriad of reasons I quit teaching was that I had an administrator who overruled my grades. People who would never even show up to class would somehow "earn" a B or even an A.

There is no way the administration didn't know what was going on. Hell... it was in the administration's best interest for it to happen, provided no one got caught!

Offline Vic Vega

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Re: The Atlanta cheating scandal: The REAL culprits
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 12:13:40 pm »
One of the myriad of reasons I quit teaching was that I had an administrator who overruled my grades. People who would never even show up to class would somehow "earn" a B or even an A.

There is no way the administration didn't know what was going on. Hell... it was in the administration's best interest for it to happen, provided no one got caught!

This would be exactly why high stakes testing is A BAD IDEA.

If your job depends on the students in your school getting certain grades, you as an Adminsitrator are going to do whatever it takes to NOT get canned.

The adminstrators have nothing to lose here. If they get caught cheating they get canned. If they let the orginal grades go out they will get canned ANYWAY. So they cheat thier ass off because its always better to lose a job later in some unspecified time in the future than now.

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: The Atlanta cheating scandal: The REAL culprits
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2011, 07:26:30 pm »
One of the myriad of reasons I quit teaching was that I had an administrator who overruled my grades. People who would never even show up to class would somehow "earn" a B or even an A.

There is no way the administration didn't know what was going on. Hell... it was in the administration's best interest for it to happen, provided no one got caught!

This would be exactly why high stakes testing is A BAD IDEA.

If your job depends on the students in your school getting certain grades, you as an Adminsitrator are going to do whatever it takes to NOT get canned.

The adminstrators have nothing to lose here. If they get caught cheating they get canned. If they let the orginal grades go out they will get canned ANYWAY. So they cheat thier ass off because its always better to lose a job later in some unspecified time in the future than now.
Right, no incentive for being honest about poor test scores....how do you fix that?

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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Re: The Atlanta cheating scandal: The REAL culprits
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2011, 07:55:46 pm »
One of the myriad of reasons I quit teaching was that I had an administrator who overruled my grades. People who would never even show up to class would somehow "earn" a B or even an A.

There is no way the administration didn't know what was going on. Hell... it was in the administration's best interest for it to happen, provided no one got caught!

This would be exactly why high stakes testing is A BAD IDEA.

If your job depends on the students in your school getting certain grades, you as an Adminsitrator are going to do whatever it takes to NOT get canned.

The adminstrators have nothing to lose here. If they get caught cheating they get canned. If they let the orginal grades go out they will get canned ANYWAY. So they cheat thier ass off because its always better to lose a job later in some unspecified time in the future than now.
Right, no incentive for being honest about poor test scores....how do you fix that?

Simple. You target everyone attached to destroying public education in America and go after them with complete abandon.

When  Broad and Gates send out their minions, or better yet when Gates himself appears on a forum about education, they need to be confronted, LOUDLY. When politicians and pundits provide the backdrop for the aforementioned individuals, they need to be ousted,

For far too long the people who are responsible for this debacle are being left off the hook. When I think about this I almost get physically ill; remembering the way Barkley and the rest of the horses called NBA players gave Duncan and Rhee accolades while they are destroying the lives of Black children.

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: The Atlanta cheating scandal: The REAL culprits
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2011, 07:09:58 am »
I thought that high stakes testing in public schools was ushered in with No Child Left Behind. And now I find out it was Bill Gates all along. Imagine my shock.  :o

So, does anybody have practical, pertinent suggestions on how to address the incentives to cheat implicit in high stakes testing as implemented?

Here's a paper on the subject based on the authors' research on cheating in Chicago:
Jacob, Brian A. and Steven D. Levitt (Winter 2004). "To Catch a Cheat". Education Next

Quote
Conclusions
The results of this study demonstrate the value of statistical analysis to school districts interested in catching cheaters or deterring future cheating. The findings from the retesting experiment were used to launch investigations of 29 classrooms. While these investigations have not been completed, it is expected that disciplinary action will be brought against a substantial number of teachers, test administrators, and principals. Perhaps more important, a preliminary analysis of the 2003 test results suggests that the incidence of cheating has declined in the district.

Moreover, there is a more positive aspect to our methods than just the isolation of instances of potential cheating.Using
these tools, we were able to identify a set of classrooms that made extraordinary test-score gains without any indication of cheating. This will pave the way to identifying and rewarding outstanding teachers.

While evidence of cheating is sometimes used to impugn high-stakes testing programs, our results actually show that explicit cheating by school personnel is not likely to be a serious enough problem by itself to call into question high-stakes testing, both because the most egregious forms of cheating are relatively rare and,more important, because cheating could be virtually eliminated at a relatively low cost through the implementation of proper safeguards, such as those used by the Educational Testing Service on the SAT or GRE exams.

However, the sort of cheating that our methods are capable of catching is just one of many potential behavioral responses to high-stakes testing. Other responses, like teaching to the test and cheating in a subtler manner, such as giving the students extra time, are presumably also present but harder to measure. The challenge for educators and policymakers will be to develop a system that captures the obvious benefits of high-stakes testing as a means of providing incentives while minimizing the possible distortions that these measures induce.
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Offline Vic Vega

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Re: The Atlanta cheating scandal: The REAL culprits
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2011, 07:59:56 am »
Making the tests like the SATs or GRE would eliminate the more blatant cheating but would probably do nothing to to stop teaching to the test and there is still no incentive to be honest.

Maybe if poorly performing schools were given extra funds to assist with problem areas and a small independent advisory team to assist with deciding what to do with those monies.

Need kids in school longer? How about money for after school tutoring or programs like band, drama or glee club?  Or funding for Breakfast? Of course if the advisory team in the end, decides that the admin needs to get the boot then out he goes.  

But if you tell a admin that he is going to get assistance and dough to deal with his institutional woes, he would look at that as opportunity not as an immediate threat unless you are dealing with an admin who is a crook or a power mad egomanic, or both (its possible).

The bright side there is that crooks or power mad egomanics tend to be hated by thier staffs so there'd at least be a paper trail of the employee strife. So in theory you should be able to see those guys coming.

This is me spitballing and this is all pretty counterintuitive.

Most folks are more in favor of the punishment model than "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" model.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 08:02:32 am by Vic Vega »

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: The Atlanta cheating scandal: The REAL culprits
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2011, 09:57:45 am »
I think that in the aggregate, most people respond to incentives both intentional and unintentional. The trick is to make sure that good behavior is rewarded instead of cheating. That is to say, I don't find your suggestions counter-intuitive; I think they have merit.

The authors of the paper also believe in incentives. One of them is the co-author of Freakonomics.
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Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: The Atlanta cheating scandal: The REAL culprits
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2011, 12:33:41 pm »
The more I think about this issue, I wonder:

What are we teaching

How are we teaching it

why are we teaching it

when (in a child's life) are we teaching it

Offline BmoreAkuma

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Re: The Atlanta cheating scandal: The REAL culprits
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2011, 04:58:42 am »
This makes me shake my head everytime. As much money that is being dumped into the black hole of education where is this money going? I'm not one of those "it makes our government too big" but for crying out loud.
With these choices, I felt that the American black man only needed to choose which one to get eaten by; the liberal fox or the conservative wolf because both of them will eat him.

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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Re: The Atlanta cheating scandal: The REAL culprits
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2011, 09:08:38 pm »
I thought that high stakes testing in public schools was ushered in with No Child Left Behind. And now I find out it was Bill Gates all along. Imagine my shock.  :o



A few days have passed so I presume that you are no longer in shock.

Look at the number of commisioners, chancellors, board members and presidents that are EXPLICITLY attached to Bill Gates and Eli Broad. Let me help, take a look at New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas and tell me what you find.

While you're at it take a look at Rhee actually writing school reform in Florida under a group funded by Broad.

You better wake up!

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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Re: The Atlanta cheating scandal: The REAL culprits
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2011, 09:12:37 pm »
The more I think about this issue, I wonder:

What are we teaching

How are we teaching it

why are we teaching it

when (in a child's life) are we teaching it

1. We are teaching children to be secondary wage workers and to actively work against their self-interests.

2. We are teaching it in ways that are grossly outdated and unproven.

3. We are teaching it as a means to kill active thought and the questioning of authority.

4. We are teaching it at their most vulnerable time and we are paying the price for it.

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: The Atlanta cheating scandal: The REAL culprits
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2011, 11:47:43 pm »
The more I think about this issue, I wonder:

What are we teaching

How are we teaching it

why are we teaching it

when (in a child's life) are we teaching it

1. We are teaching children to be secondary wage workers and to actively work against their self-interests.

2. We are teaching it in ways that are grossly outdated and unproven.

3. We are teaching it as a means to kill active thought and the questioning of authority.

4. We are teaching it at their most vulnerable time and we are paying the price for it.
iI agrre wit those list of answers 100%.  But it seems like the primary villians here are the outmoded, corrupt system that that is the status quo.  


« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 11:49:20 pm by Reginald Hudlin »

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: The Atlanta cheating scandal: The REAL culprits
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2011, 06:50:00 am »
The more I think about this issue, I wonder:

What are we teaching

How are we teaching it

why are we teaching it

when (in a child's life) are we teaching it

1. We are teaching children to be secondary wage workers and to actively work against their self-interests.

2. We are teaching it in ways that are grossly outdated and unproven.

3. We are teaching it as a means to kill active thought and the questioning of authority.

4. We are teaching it at their most vulnerable time and we are paying the price for it.
I also agree that these answers are accurate and a good basis for assessing the current education system.

It seems to me that the best place to start to re-imagine education is: what should the answers to those four questions be? Starting with "Why are we teaching it?" In other words, what is the purpose of education? What is its telos?

I'll venture an answer for the 21st Century as a point of departure for discussion:
Education should prepare students to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing world. Students need skills that will enable them to participate successfully and meaningfully in economic life and as effective citizens.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."