CRCT probe in Atlanta narrows to a dozen schools

It seems the probe into CRCT cheating within the Atlanta Public Schools is coming down to 12 schools. According to the AJC, employees in those  schools are likely to be targeted for further investigation by the system and possible referral to the Professional Standards Commission for testing violations.

The 12 elementary and middle schools are among the ones that raised the greatest number of red flags for the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, which had all CRCT test answer sheets in the state analyzed after an AJC probe found wide and odd-defying jumps in CRCT scores. (Expect a lot of AJC coverage this week of the release of the CRCT scores, the first to be taken under the cloud of the tampering scandal.)

After the statewide review, GOSA created lists of schools that had improbable rates of test erasures from wrong to right and asked systems to investigate and submit reports. Atlanta turned to a community panel to oversee the probe since it had the largest number of schools in the state in the category of most concern.

John Fremer, president of Caveon Test Security, one of two firms the panel hired to conduct the APS investigation, said there was a close correlation between the 12 schools where the employees worked and schools the state raised the most concerns about.

The suggestion seems to be that this was not system-wide cheating, but the work of a few individuals.

I am not sure that will satisfy APS critics, who believe the system is fundamentally corrupt. I think that we will likely see confessions from teachers and principals desperate to meet Dr. Hall’s high goals for the district. They will describe relentless pressure to succeed with their students. They will talk about knowing their students couldn’t make the targets without help.

According to the AJC story:

As investigators wind down their work, they have interviewed more than 260 city school employees — some more than once. They have poured over thousands of testing documents, policies and procedures as well as e-mail databases. According to their most recent report in May, they were especially keen on seeing e-mails involving 40 employees who sent electronic communications this year and last. Investigators said Monday that they have looked at 26,000 e-mails.

Based on early findings, they prioritized work involving the 12 schools due to multiple red flags, including the number of erasures, inconsistent scoring or unusual grade increases. Investigators had moderate concerns about an additional 22 schools and minimal concerns about the remaining 24.

54 comments Add your comment

Angela

June 7th, 2010
11:28 pm

I have been waiting for the right time to express some of my findings and thoughts.

The state’s DOE has hired companies to scan standardize test for each school system, might I ask why are we paying outside companies to do this instead of developing a state department to do this and keep the money where it belongs, within the GADOE.

I have a family member that has taken the GACE four times and the scores came back as follows:

Reading: 319, 317, 319, 317.
Math: 314, 318, 314, 318. (What are the odds – I ask)

I decided to contact the GACE office for an explanation. Well, I was informed that the test are set-up as Reading – A, B, C, D, Math – A, B, C, D, and each test is scored differently under the same subject matter. However, this family member says the same questions are on all of the test just in a different order. I also, know of someone who took the the GACE in counseling over 25 times before they passed it (spending over 2,000.00 dollars) with the same questions on the test but in a different order.

Please explain to me how can you score the same test and type differently. This says that these companies are out to make money. Which says if 80 to 90% of those who pay 50 to 125 per test pass they would not make any money. Now please tell me what is wrong VERY WRONG with this picture.

These outside companies are doing this to make money not to put education first or at any place.

Perhaps Maureen, this might be something that you can put out there and question.

Angela

June 7th, 2010
11:38 pm

Oops – those scores are suppose to be in the 200’s Reading: 219, 217, 219, 217.
Math: 214, 218, 214, 218. (What are the odds – I ask)

Where is the AJC?

June 7th, 2010
11:38 pm

Is the AJC partially committed, or fully committed to finding out the truth? If it’s fully committed, why have there been no Open Records requests for documents to find out what did the upper management know, and when did they know it?

Is the AJC playing politics with this, or fearlessly trying to find out the truth like the watchdog it claims it is?

Where is the AJC?

June 8th, 2010
12:01 am

Weren’t the readers promised a blog on the latest APS E-Rate scandal?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Greg Read, Maureen Downey. Maureen Downey said: CRCT probe in Atlanta narrows to a dozen schools http://bit.ly/aqePXD [...]

Ros Dalton

June 8th, 2010
12:12 am

I’m sorry Angela, but did you just propose handing more power to the very body that employs the people caught cheating on a vast scale in this article? Thousands of our children are mixed up in this mess. Creating and funding a group inside that broken, corrupt system to be the ‘watchdog’ sounds like a chance to expand that number into the tens of thousands.

The difference between a private enterprise and a government run program is going to become clearly evident in a very short time; any private company which revealed that thousands of test results were altered by cheating would immediately lose every customer and go out of business. Our public education system may have to fire a few sacrificial lambs who just did what they were told, but it’ll be back to (multi-billion dollar) business as usual next year with *exactly* the same people in charge, although for their sake hopefully with quieter lackeys fudging the necessary results at the bottom.

Our education system is desperately sick. The earlier article suggesting there is a ‘brain drain’ ongoing is laughable, the graft grabbers at the top have simply come to the realization that they’ve milked and bilked us for all we’re worth and moved on to bigger fish. I await with measured dread the thieves we will ‘elect’ to replace them.

It's time

June 8th, 2010
12:17 am

More than 20 schools with moderate concerns according the the report. A dozen with serious concerns. Isn’t it time for the people at the top to resign?

Maureen please

June 8th, 2010
12:22 am

Once again Maureen you insult the readers intelligence with the following:

The suggestion seems to be that this was not system-wide cheating, but the work of a few individuals.

Maureen maybe it’s some of that Kathy Cox math that’s got you confused, but since when does 12 schools equate to a few individuals?

Ed Johnson

June 8th, 2010
8:00 am

“CRCT probe in Atlanta narrows to a dozen schools”

The operative word is “narrows.” Here, the reporting is accurate. It conveys how conveniently the APS school board is escaping from being held accountable for the considerably wide-spread, less than ideal moral consequences from the autocratic superintendency they so steadfastly sustain at the behest of Atlanta Metro chamber and the chamber’s agent, EduPAC. (Whew!)

“Atlanta turned to a community panel to oversee….”

The essential missing qualifier is “business.” Here, the reporting isn’t inaccurate as much as it is watered down. The general “Atlanta turned to a community panel to oversee…” should be the specific “The APS school board set up a business community panel to oversee….”

And of course the EduPAC member on the panel, as well as most if not all other members, has a vested interest in ensuring the cheating “narrows” to just a few schools then to just a few teachers in those few schools.

In the prevailing style of business management that the people at the bottom are always the problem, the panel’s operating premise from the get-go has been teachers are responsible for CRCT cheating. The APS school board’s election to implement the Gates Foundation’s “Effective Teacher in Every Classroom” (ETEC) initiative evidences this “blame the teachers” business management behavior.

Otis Putnam

June 8th, 2010
10:17 am

We need to get away from over-testing (CRCT) in our school. All year all the educational system gears up to take the CRCT. We need to prayer back in school, and everything will get back on track, and Georgia will not always be at the bottom in education.

Regular Guy for Governor
http://otisputnamga.tripod.com

Springdale Park Elementary Parent

June 8th, 2010
10:49 am

I think the AJC needs to clarify its account of what the investigators are saying. Are they saying the other 46 APS schools (of the 58 originally suspected) are in the clear, or just that they weren’t as bad as the worst 12? This is an important distinction. The APS brass–especially the “autocratic superintendency” which Ed Turner so accurately describes above–desperately wants that “58″ number to go away, so it can start spinning all of us on how the “real” number is “only” twelve, and that twelve is not that bad, and continue to work that spin until they are clear of this particular noose… and can turn their attention to spinning us all on the new Wireless procurement scandal so they can try to escape THAT hangman.

If any cheating happened at those other 46 schools, even if it wasn’t as widespread or systematic as the 12 now targeted for special emphasis, those schools need to stay in this conversation. They don’t get to scurry off out of the spotlight just because other APS schools had even MORE cheaters. Maureen, you’ve seemed almost apologetic lately about how much you find yourself having to hammer the Atlanta Public School system. That is not a watchdog at work. A watchdog barks at everything that might be a threat and lets the owners–in this case, the taxpayer/stewards of the APS–decide if something’s a threat or not. Keep barking, and show some fangs if you have to.

By the way, the APS Program for Exceptional Children (special ed) audit performed by the Boston-based Education Development Center (edc.org) is due later this month, and it will contain, according to a person involved in the audit, a lot of revelations that will make parents of special-needs kids positively shudder. I hope you’ll be all over it. If you’re able to email me back, I’ll send you contact info for the audit chief.

Oh No Otis!

June 8th, 2010
10:52 am

Otis:
Please take your bible, and thump it really hard….against your head. When you have done this enough times to have knocked some sense into yourself, please feel free to rejoin the adults having a conversation about our secular public schools.

Maureen Downey

June 8th, 2010
11:03 am

@Springdale park, If you agree, can I send your e-mail to the education editor here?
Maureen

APS students need Maureen

June 8th, 2010
11:28 am

Maureen, please continue to be an advocate for the Atlanta school children. It’s NO way students could do as well on the CRCT without the administrative staff and some teachers, cheating. Principals gain recognition by Beverly Hall (who gets a huge bonus) when the scores are high. The most teachers can get is $2000, but ALL the top admin staff gets far more. The top dogs stand to lose more if students don’t make the grade. As transient as most APS students, it’s no way they would do extremely well on the CRCT. It’s almost next to impossible for students to catch up when they move from school to school in a different SRT. Each SRT (1-4) has a different reform. Why so many?! IS Beverly Hall getting money from under the table from all these different reforms? I can see one reform for the entire district but 5 different ones. Make one go HMMMM! And the 21st Century Colleges, how much is she getting from them.

Beverly Hall is stealing from the students and NO one seems to care. I guess everyone is getting a piece of the pie except the students and the teachers. Hall and her cabinet are reaping huge benefits from Atlanta tax payers. She has a private driver/bodyguard, Barbara Duncan (retired APD) that makes $102,000, a year to drive her around the city. Mind you, she has lived in this city for 10 years! WHY?!!. She goes back and forth to New York twice a month. WHY?!! I wonder who pays for that! An assistant to the superintendent, Joyce McCloud, makes $140,000! WHY?! Talk about creating lucrative jobs for your “friends.” Most of the principals she has hired are from NY or the east coast, so in-house educators or ones from the SOUTH are incompetent?! Deerwood former principal is her god-daughter. HMMMMM! Now she has a new title at CLL. A position created just for her! WOW!

Beverly Hall needs to be fired ASAP and re-elect new board members because they have allowed the children of Atlanta to be used and abused by her cabinet. Our children have been sold for millions of dollars. Sounds like “economic slavery” to me!

THANK YOU Maureen, but please continue to investigate Atlanta Public Schools and its corruptive behavior.

The salary information can be found at http://www.open.georgia.gov/

catlady

June 8th, 2010
11:35 am

Well, how many of us would have predicted that from–how many, over 100–schools with statistically improbable to impossible numbers of erasures wrong to right, a dozen would be seriously in question!? Sorry folks, we knew it was coming, so it should not stink so bad.

I do not buy FOR ONE INSTANT the “explanations” of these erasures. Not with nearly 4 decades in teaching, most of them in low SES schools (more than 70% federal lunch). Kids simply did not mark out the wrong answers and then erase to magically mark the correct answers. No.

One finding I would recommend is to send the teachers and administrators and CO personnel back to school to learn test-taking skills themselves, so they can communicate them correctly to their students!

Maureen Downey

June 8th, 2010
11:55 am

@catlady, The AJC has the CRCT scores and will have a major report tomorrow on how the schools on the severe concern list fared. I plan to post as soon as the paper gives clearance.
Maureen

Angela

June 8th, 2010
1:34 pm

@Ros Dalton,

What I am proposing is that the money stays in education not, outside. The first problem with student eraser marks on the test is that many students mark outside of the circle and we were always ask to tell students to erase marks outside of the box. The other thing is not all students erase to cheat or otherwise. Some just realize that they have marked the incorrect answer. As for the teachers and administrators who have been caught cheating (stupid of course) in their minds they were forced to do so based upon testing pressure, not only from the counties but the state.

Now what would be logical to do is to put the scoreing back into the GADOE keeping the money within the educational system and fund school systems with the funds to provide computer testing for all students. After all, technology is mandated to be a strong part of the academic curriculum. Then how much cheating could be done.

Angela

June 8th, 2010
1:40 pm

@Maureen,

I would like for the GACE issue to be addressed, what do I need to do? As a co-workers grandmother said it is a reception (recession) and who has the money to continue to make companies richer and allow them to cheat up and coming teachers out of their money. We keep talking about the CRCT cheating well, cheating is cheating be it with children or adults. And, it is WRONG!

Springdale Park Elementary Parent

June 8th, 2010
2:00 pm

@Maureen–absolutely!

APS Parent

June 8th, 2010
2:13 pm

When you look at how they faired will you be objective or out for blood? My at my daughters school the same all the teachers on her grade level were new. I liked her teacher and would hate for it to be implied that she or her team members cheated if the data is not the same and they were not even working at the school.

Angela

June 8th, 2010
2:27 pm

@APS Parent,

Do you mean new teachers or just new to the school – big difference.

As a former APS student and the parent of a former APS student the ball game has alway be different than other systems. The APS system is the only system that has an inner-city flock of students. Many of those teachers are truly catching it verses those outside of the inner city. I have not kept up with the APS issues (because I teach in DCSS) but I would ask where are the cheating school located? It does not excuse the cheating but, I would say that because of how strict B. Hall is, I am sure that those teachers and administrators were on edge.

Also, I wondered how long would it be before B. Hall was called out. Thanks -APS students need Maureen.

Maureen Downey

June 8th, 2010
2:54 pm

APS Parent, I think that there will be unfair assumptions in that some schools that were in the severe concern category last year for concerns of cheating may have legitimate reasons for markedly lower scores this year other than that they weren’t able to get away with any cheating — so I think it does behoove us to report these new results with caveats.

Maureen

intheknow

June 8th, 2010
3:00 pm

The Hall spin machine is in overdrive. Y’all have been getting punked for years and now you have just figured it out. I am convinced if the AJC dug a lil bit deeper, they would find the motherlode of corrurption, waste and just plain avarice. Someone made mention of the salaries on her executive staff and consultants, it is just plain crazy. I would call it racketeering and call for arrest under the RICO act except I would be called a card carrying racists.

The scandal beneath the surface is the real story. AJC dig a little deeper, folks have been passing you hints not inneundo. APS students need Maureen is completely accurate.

A few folks are going under the train to protect the CLL franchise but in the long run, the ladies at CLL have effectively insulated themselves, as Trotter calls them, educational thugs are lurking and in effect

Ole Guy

June 8th, 2010
3:19 pm

Seems like you “edicashum” folks insist on perpetuating your problems. Kids, NO MATTER their age nor their mental capacities, should NEVER have to erase anything greater than the tiniest pencil dot.

INSTRUCT accordingly: 1) If the kid is absolutely certain of the answer, go ahead and fill in the bubble. 2) If the kid is uncertain as to the correct answer, place a TINY DOT within the bubble of the possible answer. AFTER, and ONLY AFTER the kid is certain of the answer may the kid erase and fill bubbles as deemed appropriate.

This simple procedure serves two objectives: 1) Strictly enforced, it virtually eliminates this erasure business…2) It serves as an instructional tool in FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS/PROCEEDURES.

If a kid cannot follow these simple instructions, he/she has a heap more problems than learning the mysteries of arithmetic an such.

Where is the AJC?

June 8th, 2010
3:34 pm

Why is the AJC so completely terrified of answering a simple question; why haven’t they used the Open Records process to find out what did Beverly Hall know, and when did she know it?

Unless the AJC is trying to protect Hall, all while claiming to be a watchdog by going after a few low level employees, the AJC has no legitimate reason not to answer this question.

Careful observer

June 8th, 2010
3:39 pm

I’ve been in education in some capacity for only the past 9 years. Every rumor I have heard about Dekalb schools and Atlanta schools has always been proven true, publicly or privately. Both systems need new leadership.

catlady

June 8th, 2010
4:01 pm

Ms. Downey, will the AJC be doing any longitudinal analysis on an individual student basis? For example, pulling 200 kids from each of the accused-cheating schools and tracking their CRCTs for the last several years? (Remembering that the 2nd to 3rd grade switch is the most difficult, IMHO, because in 2nd most of the test is read to the students; in 3rd and thereafter they are on their own! If a child’s 3rd grade CRCT scores go up significantly, especially for those who have had lots of trouble in 1st and 2nd, that should be a BIG RED FLAG! Also, discounting any kids with IEPs and significant accommodations or 504s (find out how many had those!) or TPCs with accommodations (for ESOL kids)). Take a look at the sheer numbers of kids with those designations also–is there a big jump in 504s this year? Red Flag!

You need longitudinal, individual data to see if last year’s great scores were bogus. Don’t listen when they say it can’t be done–it can! These kids have GTIDS that make them traceable even if they have moved. Mine that data!

Angela

June 8th, 2010
4:05 pm

@Ole Guy,

Is it something about erase that you don’t understand? Erasing is just that a dot, marks, etc.

Maureen Downey

June 8th, 2010
4:21 pm

@Catlady. I just checked with John Perry, our database expert. Because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, we cannot have access to that individual student data, even though it exists.
Also, to all: The state will release statewide CRCT data tomorrow; it will release system-wide data in two weeks and schoolwide data in a month.
However, the AJC asked systems for their CRCT results and John Perry and Heather Vogell have a story planned for Thursday. (It was going to be tomorrow, but they are now looking at pass rates in the data rather than scales and that is taking longer to analyze.) It took two weeks to amass the data from the systems, but the AJC story will have breakdowns that will not otherwise be out for a month.
Maureen

Maureen Downey

June 8th, 2010
4:24 pm

@Where is the AJC? I talked to the investigative reporters about this and they say the AJC has concentrated on getting contracts and data through open records rather than e-mails at this point as the contracts and the data yield more substance in terms of what actually has been done and what money has been spent. The paper is in the midst of requesting and reviewing contracts, all of which are lengthy and complex. Expect more investigative pieces on those fronts.

Where is the AJC?

June 8th, 2010
4:30 pm

Maureen, I was referring to the cheating scandal, not the E-Rate one. When you have cheating on this massive a scale, the question must be asked, what did Beverly Hall know, and when did she know it?

Do you agree or disagree that that is an essential question the investigative reporters, and the public at large need the answer to?

catlady

June 8th, 2010
4:42 pm

I know about FERPA. I would think that as long as individually identifying data were removed or masked it COULD be traced. After all, how did the company who came up with the original reports on erasures get access to the data, if the student identifying data were not suppressed? They were looking at disaggregated data. How did the school systems who were given access to the test answer sheets do it? If the AJC were looking to trace Suzy Smith’s scores, for example, they could not, but tracking student 123456 for several years should be okay. If not, how did I ever do my dissertation, which looked at national longitudinal data, including test scores, grades, survey data, parent data, etc? Maybe there is a point I am missing?

sowhatdoesthatmeanMaureen

June 8th, 2010
4:45 pm

gibberish Maureen, for an uneducated soul, please tell me whether or not someone is investigating the blatant use of money by this Superintendent to pad others pockets

Maureen Downey

June 8th, 2010
4:46 pm

@CAtlady, The DOE strips those numbers on the data that they give us.

Where is the AJC?

June 8th, 2010
4:51 pm

Maureen, we know you’re out there. When it comes to the cheating scandal, is it not a fair, in fact essential question for the AJC to ask, what did Beverly Hall know, and when did she know it?

The sham test

June 8th, 2010
6:00 pm

Maureen will you please ask, of the 26,000 emails the investigators looked at, did they look at emails to or from Beverly Hall and to or from Kathy Augustine?

wow

June 8th, 2010
7:48 pm

is there a list of the 12 schools somewhere?

Maureen Downey

June 8th, 2010
8:22 pm

@wow, They have not told us which 12 schools are suspect; we think the list aligns with schools on the severe list.
Maureen

just watching

June 8th, 2010
9:42 pm

@catlady….FERPA includes student numbers.

Ed Johnson

June 8th, 2010
9:45 pm

@Maureen, yes but the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement flagged 42 or 43 of APS schools as “severe.” So, 42 or 12 hardly makes for alignment, right?

Maureen Downey

June 8th, 2010
9:55 pm

@Ed Johnson, What I meant was that the 12 are likely to be the most severe on the severe list since they are ranked.
Maureen

@Ed Johnson

June 8th, 2010
10:06 pm

Ed since you are willing to put your name out there, would you agree that in order for this investigation to be legitimate, of the 26,000 emails the investigators claimed to look at, it is essential that they looked at any and all emails from Beverly Hall and Kathy Augustine to see what did they know and when did they know it?

Ed Johnson

June 8th, 2010
10:29 pm

Agreed. The investigators should have looked at e-mail written by Hall, Augustine, and the rest of central office staff. Do you have information the investigators did not do this? As to legitimacy of investigation, it will take far more the e-mail examinations. It will take (should have taken) realizing the dysfunctional dynamics that flowed down from the top and into the classrooms. Business people generally are fish out of water in this regard. That’s why nothing will change, given the way investigation findings are “norrowing.”

Ed Johnson

June 8th, 2010
10:30 pm

Narrowing, not norrowing.

@Ed Johnson

June 8th, 2010
11:11 pm

No information that the investigators did not do this Ed, but little faith the AJC will ask these much needed questions unless they are kept on their P’s and Q’s!

Ros Dalton

June 8th, 2010
11:30 pm

@Angela To be perfectly blunt actual, individual student cheating concerns me very little. There will always be a very small percentage of people who simply cheat until they get caught sufficiently to be expelled. What concerns me is institutional cheating. The kind planned and implemented by the teachers and administrators of our schools for the express purpose of meeting state or system wide goals. No one is forcing them to cheat, they’re just unwilling to face the consequences of their institutional inadequacy.

They think they can skate through on a short cut because that’s the way things are done in our education system in the state of Georgia, and you can very well bet the farm that any ‘watchdog’ organization created would be exactly as corrupt and broken from the very start. The bums at the top would hire the cousins they could trust to allow the system to carry on business as usual. You can trust a private enterprise precisely because it has to do actual work to make money; the great flaw of government is that the same amount of money flows whether any work gets done or not.

You’ve presented us a miniscule data set and used it try to call into question a large business, but we have here a vast quantity of data unerringly pointing out institutional failures within our education system. No reasonable person can look at these things happening and maintain trust enough to allow them to watch themselves. Mark my words, there are dark deeds swirling just below the surface of what we can see already. Forget the money, our children are being robbed of whatever chance at success they had, robbed by incompetence, graft, and out-of-control cronyism in an education system we have all been tolerating for far too long.

THE WHITEWASH IS ON!!!!!!!!!!!

June 8th, 2010
11:44 pm

“There has been no evidence that there has been any system-wide, systemic effort to cheat or do anything like that on last year’s [state] tests,” Gary Price, a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers and the panel’s chairman, said Tuesday as the panel met for the last time before the report’s release. “However, there are individuals in question.”

This report CANNOT BE TRUSTED. THE WHITEWASH IS ON.

Sonny you MUST, you MUST, you MUST ask for an independent investigation!

another aps teacher

June 9th, 2010
2:35 am

Once again and for the record: A score of 800 = 53% correct. A score of 829 = 70%, a score of 850 = 80-83%. These scores should not seem difficult to meet. And as this is a criterion referenced test and NOT a norm referenced test, a passing score should equal a passing score in the classroom (70%).

That being said I have students who have passed the test ONLY in critical years. I have students who came from one of the twelve schools on the severe list and whose middle school scores have absolutely nothing to do with their elementary scores. I have students who have exceeded in math, reading, and language arts in the 5th grade, but who enter 6th grade not knowing their math facts and reading several years behind grade level. The students are the ones who suffer, and the teachers are the ones who get blamed. The Head Honcho, however, gets paid.

Former APS Employee

June 9th, 2010
12:46 pm

To those who wrote emails should have been looked at. Please don’t think Ms. Augustine, Dr. Hall and everyone else don’t have conversations about “not” putting things in writing. They are just as much aware as the open records act as we are. People in my department got cursed out at all the time when they put things that could be damaging towards the school system in writing and plus, the AJC can only retrieve records the school system “indicate” it has.

For years, I’ve seen the AJC write incredible articles on APS’s lies and mismanagement. However, I have seen nothing happen. My question, is when will Paul Howard who is the District Attorney for Fulton County prosecute Dr. Hall like the Dekalb County DA did with Crawford Lewis or when does a Federal Prosecutor get involved to stop the corruption that is occurring in APS? Is District Attorney Howard in Dr. Hall’s back pocket because she and her cronies have some evidence of his committing wrongdoing?

The Governor and the AJC did an excellent job at exposing the lies, but they can not bring Dr. Hall to justice. I am begging, someone please, please, please tell me what we need to do, who do we need to write to make sure the corruption stops and our children are saved? We Can No Longer Wait – We Have To Be The Ones To Put A Stop To IT – It Has To Happen Now.

APS TEACHER

June 9th, 2010
11:28 pm

The test results at my school weren’t much different than last year…we didn’t test our own students do now what?

The Naked Truth

June 9th, 2010
11:53 pm

In my county (Valdosta City Schools) the principal blatantly did not follow testing procedures. She tested the students herself. Why is it that these 12 schools are being punished and she is walking away free as a bird. We know there were students that could not have possibly passed the math crct, but they did. Things just don’t add up at all.

http://www.thenakedtruth4ed.com

What about the Children?

June 11th, 2010
10:02 am

I have lived in the Atlanta area for 5 years and since I moved here, I have read article after article regarding the gross abuse and mis-management within Atlanta Public Schools. From multi-million dollat e-rate scandals, dirty contract practices and now cheating on test scores?! The children of Atlanta are the true victims of that unscrupulous adminstration which lacks integrity and true mission for student achivement. The children deserve better. How in the world can this go on for so long? Is everyone so blinded by greed and power that they just dont care? Can the Governer or State BOE put a stop to it? Dr. Hall has received many awards and opportunities based on the “success” of the reform initiatives so she has a lot to lose if the cheating is proved to be systemic which I believe it is. Dr Hall and her hench-women needs to be escorted out immediately to make room for TRUE reform. They all have gotten rich enough at the taxpayer expense.

Guess what???

June 11th, 2010
6:56 pm

She’s back. One of the major characters in the “blog world” about “cheating on standardize testing” …is back. Lisa Smith former principal of Deerwood Acadmey is expected to return for the 2010-2011 school year to Deerwood Academy. Best wishes to all!

David Sims

July 10th, 2010
7:38 pm

“The suggestion seems to be that this was not system-wide cheating, but the work of a few individuals.”

Right. That does appear to be what the commission is suggesting. But that suggestion is false, and why the commission is suggesting it is a very good question. Furthermore, despite a promise of transparency by its chairman, Gary Price, the commission declined to name the 12 schools that it now regards as being of primary concern.

Here are the 12 schools having the highest percentages of suspected classrooms, in the Atlanta Public Schools system.

* Parks Middle, 89.50%… See More
* Gideons Elementary, 88.40%
* Peyton Forest, 86.10%
* F L Stanton, 83.30%
* Usher Elementary, 78.40%
* Venetian Hill, 75.40%
* Capitol View, 70.80%
* Connally Elementary, 70.50%
* Dunbar Elementary, 68.60%
* Scott Elementary, 68.00%
* Blalock Elementary, 66.70%
* Perkerson Elementary, 66.70%

What the commission apparently did is draw a line, choosing to examine closely only those schools suspected of CRCT cheating in more than 2/3 of its total number of classrooms.

Why? Nine more schools in the Atlanta Public Schools system are suspected of cheating in anywhere from half to two-thirds of their classrooms:

* Towns Elementary, 63.60%
* Woodson Elementary, 63.30%
* Whitefoord Elementary, 59.30%
* D H Stanton Elementary, 58.30%
* Boyd Elementary, 56.10%
* West Manor Elementary, 54.90%
* Turner Middle, 54.00%
* Kennedy Middle, 53.20%
* Fickett Elementary, 51.40%

Plenty of cheating to be found in those schools, I’m sure. So why isn’t the “independent” commission investigating them, too?

I mean, the State of Georgia’s criterion for “severe concern” in regard to CRCT cheating is 25% of school classrooms suspected. There are, additionally, 22 schools in the Atlanta Public Schools system which are suspected of CRCT cheating at a level between 25% and 50% of their classrooms.

It looks as if the investigating commission is stalling and obfuscating. They’ve placed an unwarranted focus on the dozen most rotten apples in a barrel in which nearly all the apples are rotten to an unacceptable degree. They’ve repeatedly delayed their final report and haven’t posted any interim progress reports to confirm cheating responsibility in any particular cases. They’ve refused to name the problem schools or the guilty school officials. Why is the commission behaving like this?

I’ve been made to understand that the commission is to be paid by the Atlanta Education Fund. I’ve been told that the Atlanta Education Fund is “independent” of the Atlanta Public Schools. I don’t know whether that is true or false.