Schools investigated for CRCT cheating

UPDATE 3:40: Atherton Elementary Principal James Berry has resigned. He and Assistant Principal Doretha Alexander face accusations of cheating from system officials. The school is one of four implicated by the state in a possible test cheating probe.

Georgia officials said yesterday they are investigating whether teachers, administrators or other adults changed answers on the summer CRCT exam at four elementary schools, the Associated Press has reported.

The changes made scores improve so significantly that the schools were able to meet the testing goals of No Child Left Behind, according to officials with the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. Schools that fail to meet the federal law’s rules face increasingly severe sanctions.

The four schools are: Atherton Elementary in DeKalb County, Deerwood Academy in Atlanta, Parklane Elementary in Fulton County and Burroughs-Molette Elementary in Glynn County.

An article that ran in the AJC in December raised questions about how some students at Atherton, Parklane and other campuses were able to improve so significantly in just a few months.

The questioned exam was a summer retest of the CRCT. Students who failed the exam in the spring took the retest.

The four schools had high numbers of erasures on the fifth-grade math retest, according to the state audit. While the state average was 2 erasures for most students, one of the reviewed schools had more than 20 per student. The majority of the changes were switched to the correct answer.

When the AJC wrote about this issue in December local school officials said scores increased because of targeted tutoring and other strong teaching methods used during summer school.

But the state audit found the summer school teachers were unqualified. The review also found the schools had weak test security.

What drives schools to cheat on exams? How common do you think this is?

NOTE: AJC reporter Alan Judd is trying to get in touch with teachers, administrators or other employees who worked at Atherton, Parklane or Deerwood during the summer of 2008. If you can provide any information, please contact him at ajudd@ajc.com.

BONUS: Check out AJC databases for state scores on the 2009 CRCT and school-by-school for 2008.

88 comments Add your comment

Fulton Teacher

June 11th, 2009
8:39 am

This is a no-brainer. AYP drives schools to cheat! Public perception drives schools to cheat! The possibility of someone losing their job drives schools to cheat! Cheating is quite common. Ooops, they got caught!

jim d

June 11th, 2009
9:21 am

Need you ask?

jim d

June 11th, 2009
9:34 am

I can’t help but wonder how in the world I could have ever guessed this would happen.

gwinnett educator

June 11th, 2009
9:54 am

Come my way and I am sure there would be more. I was VERY concerned to see people able to pick up the test @ 7am..go back to their own lil private classrooms to “clean” them up. (erasing stray marks and the like) and the students come 30 something plus mins later. Perfect recipe for changing. Another colleague from another state didnt touch her books to even look for stray marks. Even she said she had never seen such practice.

When I was in Dekalb..our test clean up party was during a faculty meeting. You sat with your grade level..everyone was present and you quickly looked for stray marks and the like..erased and kept it moving. (we were ready to go home).

Lee

June 11th, 2009
10:10 am

“What drives schools to cheat on exams?”

“The changes made scores improve so significantly that the schools were able to meet the testing goals of No Child Left Behind, according to officials with the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. Schools that fail to meet the federal law’s rules face increasingly severe sanctions.”

Seems to me you already answered the question…

J-Snuff

June 11th, 2009
10:14 am

The lack of problems solving skills in our schools system is at an all time high. The only thing you need to succeed in education these days(esp in the South) is church affiliation. What does that has to do with anything, well put people in charge that have academic driven purpose and not people that have good attention. People that have good attention tends not solve problems, but instead create them. Its all about the kids is the line most educator keep pounding, but their action says other. They cheat cause they do not have the aptitude to solve the problems they are facing. So self persuasive comes the main objective of educators not the students.

J-Snuff

June 11th, 2009
10:20 am

Also, teachers (just like cops) always have an excuse for not doing their job the right way. Well, since cops have quota to meet, they write twice as many tickets the second half of the year than they do the first half of the year. Well, if they did not BS the first half of the year, than they would be force to pull people over for BS the second half of the year. Just do your job and stop complaining about the standard are too high. If they are, than maybe you should not be a teacher.

Sam

June 11th, 2009
10:21 am

“Where there is fear, you will get wrong figures. You will get cheating and faking.”
–W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993)

And where does fear come from? Top management.

TW

June 11th, 2009
11:11 am

Teacher ‘cheating’ is a fly on the elephant ass of real problem – horrible job of funding by the Republican mentality in the state of GA. While the land fed high off the hog during ‘w’s credit card economy, the Republican legislature did nothing to boost education in the event it might take a hit, have to endure a recession. Until the community gets serious about funding public education, at least as far as teacher:student, topics like today’s are nothing but a smoke screen.

Get what you pay for – that’s why those states who respect the standing of education within their communty have very good public education – and we don’t.

Cherokee County actually applauded when the state allowed them to relax class sizes. They also think the School Superintendant up there is in ch arge of funding the system, that it is his fault many paras are being let go. What a bunch of morons.

Real shame the schools are charged with fighting adult stupidity at the same time they try to educate that stupidity’s offspring.

David S

June 11th, 2009
11:46 am

Is there really any point in faking surprise at this result?

Grade inflation came right on the heels of free college education for a B average and now CRCT cheating comes on the heels of NCLB. This is exactly why government should never have been ALLOWED to become involved in the education of ANYONE.

There will be much hair pulling, finger pointing, and blame to go around. In the end, only the children will have lost (as they always do, thanks to government schools). Nobody will go to prison, no tax dollars will be refunded to the defrauded parents or everyone else in society that keeps having to pay for this failed daycare system.

All of these things would be the result if these had been private schools involved. But of course they are never involved because they know there is accountability – not from some look-the-other-way government oversite bureaucracy, but from the free market where their competition is more than happy to exploit their failings to generate more business and where they know that parents can take their money and walk.

Every parent reading this comment needs to ask themselves just exactly HOW MANY HEADLINES LIKE THIS ONE do you need to keep reading before you finally realize that the government run school system is the wrong place for your child and every other child in our country??

Education supporter

June 11th, 2009
11:49 am

It’s very surprising to see an Atlanta Public School on the list. With its comprehensive reform model, focusing on academic rigor and research based best practices, Atlanta has become the benchmark for others to emulate.

Let’s hope this isolated incident, if true, does not take away from the sterling reputation of a world class school system.

Sowega teacher

June 11th, 2009
11:52 am

The retention policy is not being followed. Students fail the April CRCT and attend 2 weeks of summer school. They are then promoted to get those students “out of our school–then they are someone else’s problem.” Local reports of teacher infractions are ignored.

echo

June 11th, 2009
11:58 am

Private schools aren’t required to give the CRCT. Cheating happens becuase public schools are required to take in ANY student and attempt to educate them. It doesn’t matter if the kid has an IQ in the 50’s; a major physical, mental or intellectual problem; bad parents; no desire to learn; is a non english speaking illegal immigrant; is homeless and hasn’t eaten in days; etc… Private schools generally get to “pick” their students (and they don’t pick those listed above for obvious reasons!). Public schools are the ones required to make “sunshine out of sh!t”. People cheat because their jobs depend on the “success” (as determined by a test score) of those types of people I listed above. Having said all that, I don’t think teachers or schools should be in the standardized test business and should not be anywhere near the kids or the tests during the administration of these tests.

jim d

June 11th, 2009
12:03 pm

Destroying future generations.

Campbell’s Law at its finest!

Campbell’s law was formulated in 1975 by the late Donald T. Campbell, a respected social psychologist, evaluator, methodologist, and philosopher of science. Campbell’s law stipulates that “the more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.”

Another post lost

June 11th, 2009
12:06 pm

You wouldn’t think the AJC could lose anything faster than paid subscribers, but with the number of posts that don’t post, you’d be wrong.

David S

June 11th, 2009
12:50 pm

Private schools pick and choose now because they can. If every parent had to come up with the funding either on their own or through scholarships or charity, there would be thousands of additional schools competing for those dollars. With more competition the prices would drop. If Walmart can manage to open and run reasonably priced healthcare clinics, then somebody else who is interested would do the same for schools. There would be plenty of folks who would specifically target the most difficult to deal with just as there are businesses now that cater to every niche market that exists for other retail products and services. If every parent was suddenly responsible for their children’s education, you would also finally see parents who would act more responsibly with their upbringing. You might also see fewer having kids they don’t want because this major expense would finally be theirs, no society’s.

Its easy to bash the current system because you have never seen how effective private education could be at ACTUALLY providing great education to everyone. In some of the poorest countries on earth, parents are turning to private schools because the government system has failed them. Why so much fear of responsibility here?? Why do so many parents care more about everyone else’s kids than their own? Maybe that is the root of all of our problems.

David S

June 11th, 2009
12:50 pm

Enter your comments here

David S

June 11th, 2009
12:51 pm

AJC webmaster – its not a duplicate comment if you never posted it. Fix your software.

David S

June 11th, 2009
12:55 pm

Echo, you make the same comments that are always made to justify why people continue to support this failed system. Why do you think that the one-size-fits-all approach is appropriate for a school your child attends?? Why should the same school your child attends be forced to make “sunshine out of shit” as you say?? Why is that appropriate for your child? Why is that appropriate for anyone’s child? How is society benefitting if we attempt to use the same tools for both tasks?

Private schools pick and choose now because they can. If every parent had to come up with the funding either on their own or through scholarships or charity, there would be thousands of additional schools competing for those dollars. With more competition the prices would drop. If Walmart can manage to open and run reasonably priced healthcare clinics, then somebody else who is interested would do the same for schools. There would be plenty of folks who would specifically target the most difficult to deal with just as there are businesses now that cater to every niche market that exists for other retail products and services. If every parent was suddenly responsible for their children’s education, you would also finally see parents who would act more responsibly with their upbringing. You might also see fewer having kids they don’t want because this major expense would finally be theirs, no society’s.

Its easy to bash the current system because you have never seen how effective private education could be at ACTUALLY providing great education to everyone. In some of the poorest countries on earth, parents are turning to private schools because the government system has failed them. Why so much fear of responsibility here?? Why do so many parents care more about everyone else’s kids than their own? Maybe that is the root of all of our problems.

David S

June 11th, 2009
12:55 pm

Echo, you make the same comments that are always made to justify why you continue to support this failed system. Why do you think that the one-size-fits-all approach is appropriate for a school your child attends?? Why should the same school your child attends be forced to make “sunshine out of shit” as you say?? Why is that appropriate for your child? Why is that appropriate for anyone’s child? How is society benefitting if we attempt to use the same tools for both tasks?

Private schools pick and choose now because they can. If every parent had to come up with the funding either on their own or through scholarships or charity, there would be thousands of additional schools competing for those dollars. With more competition the prices would drop. If Walmart can manage to open and run reasonably priced healthcare clinics, then somebody else who is interested would do the same for schools. There would be plenty of folks who would specifically target the most difficult to deal with just as there are businesses now that cater to every niche market that exists for other retail products and services. If every parent was suddenly responsible for their children’s education, you would also finally see parents who would act more responsibly with their upbringing. You might also see fewer having kids they don’t want because this major expense would finally be theirs, no society’s.

Its easy to bash the current system because you have never seen how effective private education could be at ACTUALLY providing great education to everyone. In some of the poorest countries on earth, parents are turning to private schools because the government system has failed them. Why so much fear of responsibility here?? Why do so many parents care more about everyone else’s kids than their own? Maybe that is the root of all of our problems.

David S

June 11th, 2009
12:58 pm

Well, since this web page can’t manage to post a comment, I will append this intro so that I can attempt to post the comment they lost but claim is now a duplicate post. “Another post lost” you are so right on. This is a chronic problem with this site lately.

Echo, you make the same comments that are always made to justify why you continue to support this failed system. Why do you think that the one-size-fits-all approach is appropriate for a school your child attends?? Why should the same school your child attends be forced to make “sunshine out of shit” as you say?? Why is that appropriate for your child? Why is that appropriate for anyone’s child? How is society benefitting if we attempt to use the same tools for both tasks?

Private schools pick and choose now because they can. If every parent had to come up with the funding either on their own or through scholarships or charity, there would be thousands of additional schools competing for those dollars. With more competition the prices would drop. If Walmart can manage to open and run reasonably priced healthcare clinics, then somebody else who is interested would do the same for schools. There would be plenty of folks who would specifically target the most difficult to deal with just as there are businesses now that cater to every niche market that exists for other retail products and services. If every parent was suddenly responsible for their children’s education, you would also finally see parents who would act more responsibly with their upbringing. You might also see fewer having kids they don’t want because this major expense would finally be theirs, no society’s.

Its easy to bash the current system because you have never seen how effective private education could be at ACTUALLY providing great education to everyone. In some of the poorest countries on earth, parents are turning to private schools because the government system has failed them. Why so much fear of responsibility here?? Why do so many parents care more about everyone else’s kids than their own? Maybe that is the root of all of our problems.

David S

June 11th, 2009
12:59 pm

Sorry for so many posts. If this page worked right I wouldn’t have tried so many times.

mr. will

June 11th, 2009
1:02 pm

Why only a select few all elementary schools need to be investigated. See how many erase mark you will find.

Concern Teacher

June 11th, 2009
1:38 pm

I worked at Atherton ES and saw thing that were not right during the ITBS like unqualified personnel handling test material. Moreover, they were testing student and filling out answer sheets. Teachers were told to let the students to fill out the answer sheet.

jim d

June 11th, 2009
1:50 pm

Laura,

Now that is FUNNY STUFF.

Your note requesting teacher input about cheating. WOW, after running this blog you should know by now that MOST teachers don’t have the testiculars to stand up and speak out. I’m LMAO at that note.

Tony

June 11th, 2009
1:59 pm

I was going to quote Campbell’s Law, but jim d beat me to it.

The testing frenzy is destroying education not improving it. It’s time for the good people of Georgia to stand up for what is right for children and put a stop to this nonsense. This frenzy is being driven by politicians and business leaders – the very same ones that have created the financial mess we are in.

[...] Get Schooled | ajc.com – [...]

jim d

June 11th, 2009
2:02 pm

Tony,

Sorry to steal your thunder.

What took them so long!

June 11th, 2009
2:46 pm

OMG !!! APS (Atlanta Public Schools) is the biggest cheater in the USA. It is also the biggest cover-up known to man. If you promise people $2000 for performance then people are going to start cheating. And don’t administrators have a 3 year contract to show performance or they walk? Sounds like save my job to me. As far as emulation goes, what are they going to emulate??? Violence, disrespect of teachers by parents, students, and adminstrators??? It is a no brainer that you take an elementary kid that scores exceptionally well on the test then in middle and high school fails by leaps and bounds. If this were true APS would have the highest graduation rate in the state, dont you think??All I have to say is what took them so long????

Dr. John Trotter

June 11th, 2009
2:49 pm

Sometimes I don’t get the latest educational news until a day or two late. So, I have to tune into your blog, Laura. I saw on the previous thread that “Nemo Black” was talking about MACE being right on the cheating. Yes, Laura, I am afraid that this little “discovery” at these four elemnentary schools is only the tip of a huge cheating iceberg. Like jim d says, teachers are scared for their jobs. When a teacher was going to testify about systematic cheating in grading at DeKalb’s Clarkston High School in a grievance hearing, State Senator Ronald Ramsey (who is in charge of grievance hearings in the DeKalb County School System) summarily shut down the grievance hearing. I am quite confident that Mr. Ramsey is getting his marching orders from the Clown of a Superintendent in DeKalb, Crawford Lewis. Crawford Lewis’s administration is apparently afraid to hold grievance hearings as mandated by State Statute (OCGA 20-2-989.5 et seq.). Therefore, MACE tends to call Mr. Crawford Lewis a “Candy A_s Superintendent.” I presume that DeKalb is afraid of the truth. Dr. King stated: “A lie can’t live forever.”

No, I don’t think that the State of Georgia wants to launch a REAL investigation on the widespread and systematic chearing which in apparently taking place in the pulbic schools of Georgia. It would undoubtedly be embarrassing for the State to be ridiculed throughout the country. MACE has indeed been the lonely wolf howling in the wilderness, but it was easier for the Georgia Educational Establishment to cast aspersions toward MACE, to kill the messenger (so to speak) than to hear the message. Now, if the State and the AJC would also turn its attention to the abysmal non-existent discipline in so many of the State’s public schools. I know that the task could be quite overwhelming, but until we finally just openly give up on any true schooling taking place in the urban settings, then we need quit pontificating about “school reform.” (c) MACE, 2009

Turd Ferguson

June 11th, 2009
2:55 pm

Dekalb and Fulton…was Shirley girl fixing test socres.

Dr. John Trotter

June 11th, 2009
3:14 pm

MACE…”the lone wolf,” not “lonely wolf.” Sorry again for the typo. We never have really felt “lonely” at MACE but we have never ceased to be amazed at the abject dishonesty which permeates the “Public Educational-Industrial Complex,” if President Eisenhower will forgive my b_stardizating of his “Military Industrial Complex” phrase. Education has the biggest budget in the State. Too many well-paid educrats are living too high off the hog and off the fat of the lamb to jeopardize their standings. Their philosophy is to raise the test scores “by any means necessary.” It is one big game, but the public is just beginning to see through this deceiving mirage. I am afraid that before any genuine improvement can take place in our public schooling process in Georgia, the educational “house of cards” (first started by the Quality Education Act in the mid-1980s) in Georgia will first have to completely collapse. Kathy Cox and ones of her educational ilk can only dumb-down the tests so much. Eventually the cheating administrators might even run out of erasers. The schools need to be returned to men and women of integrity and compassion. Now, most of the administrators in Georgia are mean-spirited rubes. This is a nasty combination. Let me speak this next sentence with candor and with a clarion voice, a voice not left for any misunderstanding. At MACE, we truly believe that administrators are ruining our public schools in Georgia. It’s not the teachers; it’s the administrators. Metaphorically speaking, most of the administrators need to be taken out back and horse-whipped. They are not worth a plugged nickel. Saint Paul once wrote to the Galatians: “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” No wonder the administrators don’t like me nor MACE. My feelings are not hurt one bit. My dog Graci adores me. (c) MACE, 2009

echo

June 11th, 2009
3:29 pm

Who Said I “support” a “failing system”? It is the truth about the quality of students public schools MUST work with. And I am vastly aware of the “successes of the private schools”, after all, I started my teaching career in one. Many of them have problems too (better at getting rid of them though!).

I don’t have any children and frankly it wouldn’t bother me one bit if the government got out of education. I could save some money on my personal property taxes and all these parents with 5 kids who “can’t” even afford to pay for their lunches/breakfasts (but they drive expensive SUV’s) can start paying their own way.

When you start talking about competition and comparing schools to Walmart you are making a grave mistake however. Walmart isn’t exactly the model of capitalism it once was…too many cheaply imported products (remember the old “made in the USA compaign” they used to have all over the stores?) and it seems like they only have 3 cashiers on staff during the busiest times. Walmart is losing customers and if private schools try to emulate them, they will also fail.

And since we’re on the subject of cheating, how do you think all these failing businesses failed but the CEO’s and selected others walked away with pockets loaded? It is a societal problem…not just a school problem. I don’t know that I speak for all teachers, but I’m sure most of us would be thrilled of ALL the cheating stopped!

Concern Teacher

June 11th, 2009
3:58 pm

I saw the coming, the principal of Atherton “Dr” Berry and assistant principal Ms. Alexander resigned. Both are under investigation. The order of not let the student to fill the answer sheet came from them. How to expect educate our children with this kind of leadership. I agree “DR” Lewis is puppet clown.

[...] Here is the original post: Georgia schools investigated for possible cheating | Get Schooled [...]

catlady

June 11th, 2009
4:30 pm

Some schools ARE much more scrupulous/fanatical about test security than what has been described. Ours is downright silly. But, in the long run, it really isn’t important, because IT DOES NOT MATTER. We just endure it, knowing how it will turn out no matter what we do. Our school was thrilled this year because “only” 40 kids of 200 failed the reading. Whoopeee!

Dr. John Trotter

June 11th, 2009
4:40 pm

More Trotter Typos. Sorry. It’s the Quality Basic Education (QBE) Act, not Quality Education Act. I left off “Basic.” We jokingly called it the Quit Being an Educator Act or the Quit Brutalizing Educators Act. Also, I see that I really b-stardized the word “b-stardizing.” Please forgive. Hey G Man and fellow bloggers: Sometimes we’re having so much fun, and our fingers just can’t keep up with our thoughts. But, Laura, this is fun! Keep up the timely topics, and we might be able to sanitize some of the garbage which is spread around all over the schools systems under the name of “caring for the children.” Methinks they protesteth too much. All this “for the children” stuff is really all about their billfolds and purses. Follow the money.

David S

June 11th, 2009
4:50 pm

Well, I am stunned to actually read about a resignation over this. A firing would be better, and of course the Japanese have the market cornered on responsible behavior to acknowledge culpability. No doubt we will learn that the resignation actually was a golden parachute retirement with us suckers picking up the bill for the next 30 years. Actually we won’t learn about that because the government news media rarely reports on that sort of thing.

And echo, unless you speak out against the continuance of the system, you support it. And yes, greed is all around, that’s why you don’t empower it – like for instance with government regulations that CEO’s can hide behind or by the Federal Reserve lowering interest rates below market value and massively increasing the money supply. A free market all around, without government protectionism (regulation) would have been better and safer for everyone. The problem stretches as far and as wide as the government is involved. Sorry to stray off subject.

Lets hope there are WAY more resignations and firings without pensions, health care, etc. We all deserve that at least.

Stan

June 11th, 2009
5:08 pm

OMG I went to Atherton…Of course I doubt there are any of the same people there now as when I went but maybe…This principal wasn’t there at the time I went.

Cricket

June 11th, 2009
5:18 pm

Concern Teacher,
I think you mistyped on your comments so let me see if I understand what you meant. Are you saying that the teachers were told by administration to fill out the scan-tron(bubble in answer) sheets for the students so it would be done neatly (which is still a major violation) or are you just saying that the administration told them to change the wrong answers (outright cheating) after the students were gone? Which did you mean?

Where is the AJC?

June 11th, 2009
5:46 pm

For an organization the AJC editorial board is so quick to criticize, MACE seems to consistently offer the most brutal, honest, and accurate assessment of the issues that hamper education today, as well as the most simple, straightforward, and effective solutions.

Yet the editorial board does not seem to have had the courage of their convictions and offered MACE equal time rebuttals like they do other people and organizations they criticize.

If given the opportunity, my guess is MACE, as they have in the past, would be willing to publicly address these issues, and as a result, the readers would have a much greater insight on how to improve education today.

Doesn’t the AJC, who claims it is so difficult to get educators to speak out, want to give their readers the most information possible, by utilizing those voices that are willing to do so?

Seen it all

June 11th, 2009
6:02 pm

The reality is that cheating is widespread in Georgia. It has to do with not only the CRCT, but other tests as well. Do you know why? Because we have UNETHICALLY people working in our schools that’s why. It’s just that simple.

The old saying goes: If you lie, you will cheat. If you cheat, then you will steal. If you steal, then you will kill.

I have worked with some of these people. I had the HORRIFIC displeasure of working with a teacher who lied throughout the year on teachers, students, and other staff members. This same teacher deliberately falsified documents in an attempt to deceive the county office and cover up her own negligence. This same teacher also went into other teachers classrooms and an administrator’s locked office, went through their things, and stole things. This same teacher spent time in a storeroom by herself with classified test materials. I have no doubt she used that opportunity to cheat and tamper with test documents. Why you might ask? Because it suited her agenda.

At another school, a principal and another administer were reported to have gone to the school on the weekend and locked themselves inside the building. This occurred the weekend before CRCT tests were to be shipped to the county warehouse that Monday morning. Miraculously, a school that had not make AYP in years, suddenly made AYP. Nothing at the school had changed. Not teaching methods or instruction. It seems after one magical weekend, the students of this school became like those of Wobegone. Every child was above average.

In the case of the previously mentioned teacher, no one has died. Not physically. But countless others have died spiritual and emotional deaths. Students who dreams and aspirations were torn away. Crumpled like a of paper.

Why you ask? Because we have a morally bankrupt, corrupt system. People, from the top down, work in the system- doing time like they’re in prison. People do what suits them, not what’s right. I guess this is why our children can’t read, write, or do basic math. I can almost guarantee you that the little children at these pitiful schools in the cheating scandal can barely spell their own names. Can hardly write a sentence. Multiply two numbers. Yet they “PASSED” the CRCT.

By the way, don’t be too impressed by this year’s “rise” in CRCT scores. This is a test we know was **watered down SIGNIFICANTLY** this year, across the board, in all grade levels. We now have retarded people and students who don’t speak English passing the CRCT.

Until we as educators act from a sense of righteousness and integrity, things will never change. Everyday countless teachers let students perish in their classrooms, because it is expedient for them. Countless principals let their schools vegetate because it is expedient for them. They see their time there as simply “time”. Something to do until something better comes along.

The cheaters in the paper were only the ones that got caught. THOUSANDS more exist, hiding, and praying, lucky they were not discovered. Who knows- even if they were, it probably would have been covered up anyway.

Classroom Teacher

June 11th, 2009
6:37 pm

Damn seen it all you mentioned three people that did reportable offenses. My question to you is did you ever report them? And if you did what happened? Or did you cowardly ignore the offenses only to post about it anonymously on line? I’m guessing the latter.

Cobb Educator

June 11th, 2009
6:51 pm

Don’t think that CRCT corruption does not exist in all districts to some degree. This year on April 28th at 1:15 pm, a Cobb County Area I elementary school had a fire drill. This drill I do not believe was a county-wide drill but was per the principal’s request. There was supposed to be a Code Red Lockdown within the week. It never happened. **This was during the CRCT test window.

An ENTIRE rolling cart of CRCT test bins were left in the open in the front office unattended while the entire school was evacuated. Answer documents, test booklets, teacher/ administrator manuals and Black Warrior pencils were in the bins.

The tests are supposed to be under lock and key at all times. Teachers will be investigated for leaving the bins in their unlocked classrooms; yet, all of these documents were unmanned. The school is an older facility and has several buildings that are connected with “breezeways”. The principal was in one of the other buildings near the 5th grade hall. The assistant principal was also in another building. Neither were ANYWHERE NEAR the office. The school secretary was at her desk, but the documents were on the side where on the parent side of the counter.

Several teachers were aware of cart of test materials upon entering the building but KNOW that there is no one to tell. At least one of the teachers went to the website for the GADOE only to find that “test irregularities” must be submitted to the building representative. Every teacher knows that you can’t tell your administrator in the building about this. THE PRINCIPAL ALREADY KNEW!! Very few people have a key to the closet where test materials are held. Who unlocked the closet? Who checked out the materials? Who dropped the ball?

Meanwhile, had the teachers mentioned it the principal would have treated you like a crimial because you KNOW that the tests will be invalidated for the school. The principal would rather kill you than have “HER” test scores affected. The scores are considered a direct reflection of the principal. Her position rests on making AYP. No teacher in her right mind wants to bring that on herself. By the way, this school did quite well on the CRCT.

Questionable, maybe… You decide.

Sam

June 11th, 2009
7:35 pm

“What drives schools to cheat on [CRCT] exams?”

CRCT cheating happens because the Georgia public education system is perfectly designed to produce CRCT chating. Otherwise, CRCT cheating would not, indeed could not, happen. It’s as simple, and as complex, as that.

And guess what. None of principals, teachers, students, parents designed the system to make it possible for CRCT cheating to happen. Top policy makers and administrators did.

Concern Teacher

June 11th, 2009
8:25 pm

Cricke,

The administrator told the teachers not to let the student bubble the answer sheet just to mark the answer in the booklet.

Classroom Teacher

June 11th, 2009
8:47 pm

“At least one of the teachers went to the website for the GADOE”

No. Thats what this agency is for:

http://www.gapsc.com/

David

June 11th, 2009
10:12 pm

It’s very easy to say cheating is common. It’s much harder to have some hard evidence supporting that claim. I have never worked in a school where test security was treated with anything less than the utmost seriousness. The fact that some schools may have done less than that doesn’t prove that it is “common.”

Bold statement.

June 11th, 2009
10:37 pm

Enter your comments here

Educator

June 11th, 2009
10:38 pm

Okay. I have been teaching for 11 years. What gets me about this whole thing is, teachers, and administrators are afraid for their jobs! They will cheat, steal, and lie. The one problem that I have with the education system is this scenerio: I have a class in 2007 that performs well on the CRCT. The next year, I get a group of low, low learners who do not perform well. However, if you look at their test scores from previous years, they have not done well in grades 1-4. Who is to blame about this? Shouldn’t we look at each child’s progress individually, and not as a whole class. He may have made 787 in math in fourth grade, and by fifth grade, he is at 794. Isn’t that progess? In a nut shell, testing sucks!!! There has to be a better way! I don’t even clean my books up after testing! I feel as if the people who are getting the big bucks to grade them should clean them up!