10/24: Teachers forced to cheat?

Moderated by Maureen Downey

In today’s guest column, two education researchers turn their attention to Georgia’s “good” schools, citing data that suggest even top suburban systems fall short in the global arena.

In my column, I look at the defense that teachers who cheated were forced by circumstance.

Read what we have to say and comment on either topic here.

7 comments Add your comment


October 24th, 2011
7:09 pm

“Their contention is that the blame should not fall on any individual but on a flawed system.”

That’s called the Nuremberg Defense, the notion that wrongdoing is forgivable if one was just following orders. It was bogus and unacceptable when the Nazi death camp operators tried to hide behind it, and still is.

Grob Hahn

October 24th, 2011
3:40 pm

So how is being “forced to cheat” any different from being “forced to rob a bank”? A government school is a place where falsifying records is a criminal act. If you work for the government you have channels to go through when someone issues an illegal, immoral or conflicting order. Nobody is obligated to act on such an order and if their inaction is used against them the stakes become much higher. If Beverly Hall ordered a teacher to cheat, isn’t there some part of that teacher that knows the “order” is illegal, unethical and in this case, racist?


October 24th, 2011
3:35 pm

Well.. If the test are going to be run by the people who the results are going to effect, then there will always be cheating.

APS 4th grade teacher & a Proud Cheater!

October 24th, 2011
1:19 pm

Please allow my comments from last night’s blog:

Teachers must not be the Lambs of Sacrifice!

Superintendent Davis must be consistent if he is to maintain credibility. The high school principals listed in the report must not be allowed to “be in front of children.” These principals must also face the loss of certification. Mr. Davis must act immediately!

As I have said before, the cheating in APS is deeply rooted in our culture. Yes, it is both endemic and systemic. So many teachers are being preyed upon with little recourse. Some are so wrapped up in this mess, I honestly feel they are unable to decipher right from wrong. A decade of brutish bullying has warped sensibilities.

I’m different, as often stated, I cheat for moral reasons; to provide meaningful instruction, as opposed to teaching to the test all day-everyday-all year. If the “powers to be” really cared about quality learning environments and the proper use of assessments, testing would occur at the beginning of the school year. End-of- the-year testing has become the “stick,” viewed by almost all as inherently punitive.

I spent a good part of my day viewing (C-Span) Thursday’s senate subcommittee hearing on NCLB. It was indeed heartening to hear so many of our elected officials speak to the damage that the testing craze has done to the spirits of so many hardworking, effective teachers. It was especially comforting to hear Senator Isakson speak with intricate knowledge formed from the vantage points of parents, teachers, administrators and employees. I am in no way partisan, but must admit I was impressed. It is evident that Mr. Isakson is evolving in the right direction. So often our politicians just don’t get it!

Thank you very much,

Fighting in the Trenches

north atlanta mom

October 24th, 2011
12:21 pm

What radical reforms are Mr. Greene and Mr. McGee proposing?

Ben The Independent

October 24th, 2011
11:12 am

Here we go again Maureen. The illegal cheating is ok if you can place the blame on ‘why good honest people cheat’. It’s the same old story that a person is not responsible for their actions if you can find something that made them cheat. The belief that a person is responsible for his own actions doesn’t fit the seculat-progressive mold.


October 24th, 2011
10:45 am

OK, I’ll bite on this one.

“When politically powerful and influential suburbanites get behind dramatic education reform for everyone because they think their own children need it, we may see gains that decades of lip service and half-hearted reforms have failed to produce.”

Sounds eerily familiar, a bit like . . . “hope and change”.

This talk has been hammered on the public for at least the last 40 years I’ve been paying attention. “Trust us, we know better”, “we need more programs, more money, more experimentation in the classrooms and schools”, and “it’s all the fault of those wealthy and politically connected people who don’t care becuase their kids education is taken care of”. Well, BULL, BULL, and BULL.

From where I stand, and from where I sat, there have not just been “decades of lip service and half-hearted reforms”. There’s been SUBSTANTIAL liberal reform of edcuational and disciplinary practices and investment in facilities, programs, teachers, and administrators. All said, we certainly had a lot less “stuff and puff” in a 1950’s and 1960’s classroom, but effectively we got a darn good education and a whack on the butt or knuckles when we stepped out of line.

And if you insist on demogoguing the “politically powerful” for not believing their own children need benefit of dramatic reforms, I suggest you start at the top with the family in the White House sending their kids to private schools. Or, maybe THAT’s the dramatic reform needed?