Amid cheating probe, why would anyone order teachers to tamper with records?

The most amazing aspect of this AJC news story on an assistant principal at Stoneview Elementary in Lithonia ordering teachers to tamper with attendance records is when it occurred: Between December of last year and this January.

That means this DeKalb administrator allegedly ordered illegal actions despite full awareness of the state cheating scandal and the growing intolerance for any sort of record tampering.

If this charge is proven, whatever possessed this assistant principal to take such a risky step?  He calls in teachers and orders them to change attendance records at a time when state prosecutors and GBI agents are walking the halls of APS buildings interviewing educators for testing irregularities and possible test tampering? His own county was in the midst of an internal investigation after the state found DeKalb had more wrong answers erased and changed to correct answers than most school districts in the state.

Everyone was on edge and on alert, and yet he purportedly tells eight teachers to alter students’ attendance records on a school computer.  It almost sounds like a professional death wish.

Here is the sad tale via the AJC:

Derrick Wooten was indicted Tuesday on four counts of public record fraud, four counts of criminal attempt to commit a felony and one count of computer forgery.

A DeKalb judge signed a warrant for his arrest.

Wooten was working as an assistant principal at Stoneview Elementary in Lithonia when he instructed eight teachers to change students’ attendance records on a school computer, District Attorney Robert James told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“He is accused of changing attendance records to reflect children were in school when they weren’t. This was all to make it look better for AYP,” James said Tuesday. “The motive was to cover this up so the school doesn’t get put on the Needs Improvement list.”

In addition to academic achievement, the U.S. Department of Education tracks student attendance to determine if a school makes Adequate Yearly Progress. Schools with 15 percent of students with 15 percent absent rates will be flagged and likely not make AYP, James said.

The altering allegedly occurred between Dec. 1, 2010, and Jan. 31. Stoneview did not make AYP in 2010.

Four teachers complied with Wooten’s orders, but no teachers were charged. James said the teachers were not indicted because they were simply following instructions from their supervisor.

The other four reported Wooten to school officials, who contracted the district attorney’s office.

Wooten was one 24 educators yanked from the classroom in January as part of a probe into allegations of cheating on the CRCT test. Wooten is not accused of irregularities with the standardized test, but the internal CRCT investigation uncovered the attendance altering, district spokesman Walter Woods said.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

99 comments Add your comment

FBT

March 22nd, 2011
9:32 pm

Why is the school responsible for the parent’s job of getting the child to school?

Cere

March 22nd, 2011
9:33 pm

Because he was trying to protect his job. DCSS is a jobs program. Really, where could this guy go and replace his $90,000+ salary with full benefits and a pension?

Maureen Downey

March 22nd, 2011
9:35 pm

@Cere, But he could not have picked a worse time in history to order tampering. It just seems so insane to think that he could order teachers to do this against the backdrop of the CRCT cheating probe. In essence, he was risking jail. And now, he may get it.
Maureen

FBT

March 22nd, 2011
9:38 pm

I spoke with a teacher tonight who works for a school system that does not allow any student to receive a grade below a 70. He joked that his job is to entertain children and randomly assign a grade somewhere between 70 & 100. Why is this not considered tampering?

so.ga.tchr

March 22nd, 2011
9:43 pm

he is an idiot. just another example of an idiotic unscrupulous administrator who will do anything to protect his job. We don’t lack good teachers in Georgia. We lack ethical leaders. By the way the teachers who complied should be charged also. If you follow an order that you know is illegal then you are equally as guilty. Whatever happened to the Code of Ethics.

Ernest

March 22nd, 2011
9:59 pm

While not making excuses for this AP, it goes to show the pressure ‘high stakes testing’ has on people. It’s easy for me to sit in my Lazy Boy and say what should or shouldn’t be done.

When your job is on the line, it makes people do strange things. I’ve seen this in sales when someone that does not make quota in 2 consecutive quarters, they get fired. I’ve also seen situations where a ’sale’ was made, commissions paid, the rep leaves, then in a few months there is a ‘chargeback’ because auditors found problems with the paperwork.

Dekalbite@Maureen

March 22nd, 2011
10:02 pm

The culture of unethical behavior in DCSS is one that has been around for quite some time. Many of the administrators that have been raised in this culture of unethical behavior see this as the norm. They have scant teaching experience and are even less effective as administrators. Many of them are “friends and family” or have fraternity/sorority or church ties – in other words – few promotions are on merit.

Look at Derrick Wooten’s teaching certificate. He was certified in 2003 in middle grades. By 2008 he got his educational leadership – I’ll bet he got his AP that year. DCSS administrators have a dearth of experience in the classroom. They just want to come in, get a few years in the classroom and then move out and up. DCSS has truly lost its focus on students. This is getting harder and harder to hide.

https://www.gapsc.com/Certification/Lookup/look_up.aspx

@ FBT

March 22nd, 2011
10:06 pm

You’re probably talking about DCSS. Yes, the administration wants teachers to entertain and not educate and surely not to have high standards for student learning and achievement.

FBT

March 22nd, 2011
10:11 pm

No, not DCSS, but rather a rural, poorly performing school system.

A Conservative Voice

March 22nd, 2011
10:16 pm

Because there are people who were not qualified to be in the position to begin with. It all starts at the top which, obviously is ethically challenged. DCSS needs to clean house beginning with the overpaid superintendent who reached her level of incompetence when her friend placed her in the position he did. The DeKalb BOE is no better than the APS BOE……all should be recalled and prohibited from ever holding another BOE position.

michael

March 22nd, 2011
10:20 pm

In answer to the title of the article…..Because it’s Georgia?

Really amazed

March 22nd, 2011
10:31 pm

@FBT nothing below a 70 is taking place in Cherokee County too!!!!

Dekalbite

March 22nd, 2011
11:07 pm

After accounting for CRCT retests that need to be added into the 2009 and 2010 percentages of DCSS Title 1 schools that Made AYP, I was struck by how unbelievably close in numbers that Atlanta Public Schools and DeKalb Schools are in Title 1 schools with respect to that Made AYP in 2009 and then the enormous decrease in 2010.

Look at the unprecedented decrease in schools that Made AYP in APS and DCSS from 2009 to 2020:

Percentage of schools that Made AYP in DCSS:
2009: 87%
2010: 54%
*Number of DCSS Title 1 Schools: 89 in 2009 and 2010

Percentage of schools that Made AYP in APS:
2009: 81%
2010: 58%
*Number of APS Title 1 Schools: 92 in 2009 and 91 in 2010

The decrease in DCSS Title 1 schools making AYP so almost identical to APS. This gives you an idea of the culture that controls DCSS. Sadder still is that not one BOE member bothered to ask why this statistically aberrant decrease happened?

schooled parent

March 22nd, 2011
11:14 pm

responding to FBT: Schools lose money with inexcused absence. We are pressured to make an excuse from an acceptable list of excuses when our child has a commitment that takes her from the classroom. If we chose not to use an accepted excuse, our child is not allowed to take make-up work. Sad story isn’t it!!!

Tucker Guy

March 22nd, 2011
11:32 pm

Just another day in DCSS. Rules are for teachers, not for administrators or the BOE. Teachers have to do what they are told or they don’t have a job next year.

scott

March 22nd, 2011
11:41 pm

It’s very simple-if these educators are found guilty, they need to be fired immediately-all of them, the superintendents, teachers, and everyone else who was involved. There are plenty of ethical graduates fresh out of school who would love to step in and give the kids what they deserve-an education. And if attendance is a problem, make it the principal’s responsibility to get them to class or get a pay cut.

Chana

March 23rd, 2011
12:12 am

Why does the DeKalb County School System selective choose who will be turned over to the DA? Why wasn’t Ralph Simpson and Carol Thedford turned over to the DA when they decided to take Title I money for Ralph’s book. Why are they still working? Why was Ralph Simpson allowed to pay back the money? The only consequence he received was a demotion to AP, yet he is still receiving a six-figure salary. Wow, that’a some punishment. Why are there past principals working in the Transportation and Fleet Departments allowed to keep their jobs after fraternizing with female staff at their schools? There are many other truthful scenarios that can be presented. Why is this allowed? You must be a part of the friends & family plan in order to receive preferential treatment. The DeKalb County School System is going to hell in a hand basket.

David

March 23rd, 2011
12:18 am

This is primitive behavior, clear and simple. These people are just running through the jungle.

I am the Teacher

March 23rd, 2011
5:56 am

It is obvious that not many of the responders to this strand are teachers. No, I do not condone cheating, but I don’t condone no grade less than 70%, special ed students in regular classes they cannot ever understand, and one diploma for all. The state and federal ridiculous mandates have made it possible for too much of this type of behavior to become even thinkable. It’s all shameful. And who get hurt the most? The kids! And that is wrong on every level!

Ernest

March 23rd, 2011
6:37 am

And if attendance is a problem, make it the principal’s responsibility to get them to class or get a pay cut.

That’s right, put the RESPONSIBILITY of a child coming to school on the school district and punish employees if children do not come. Another example of the pressure put on educators for events they cannot control. Do you really wonder why they do things like this?

Independent

March 23rd, 2011
6:45 am

So if 15% of the children are absent 15% of the time the school does not make AYP and the vice principal might get fired. Of course, the vice principal was given police powers to go to the home of the absent student and make an arrest of the student and their parent(s). I don’t understand why the vice principal didn’t just do that. Would that not be better than losing his job?

Independent

March 23rd, 2011
6:49 am

I am the Teacher -
“but I don’t condone no grade less than 70%”
Sounds like you need to go back to English class. I was taught not to use “no” double negatives. Should that sentence not read ” but I don’t condone any grade less than 70%?”

Dunwoody Mom

March 23rd, 2011
6:53 am

@DeKalbite – remember that DCSS tested almost 29,000 more students than Clayton. If you look at the actual pass rates, rather than the phenominally moronic “AYP” label, you will see the 2 systems are about even as far as test scores go. Not saying that is anything to brag about, but I think it is important to use data, not labels, when trying to make your point.

Jordan Kohanim

March 23rd, 2011
7:15 am

Ernest- Precisely! A problem that will only get worse if pay/incentives are tied to these types measurements.

catlady

March 23rd, 2011
7:18 am

Next year AYP rests, in part, on SCIENCE subtest scores, not attendance (which was an idiotic measure anyway).

There is tremendous pressure to make AYP. Dekalb, and others, don’t always hire on merit. We have many, many sub-par adminisrators.

I find the earlier comment about police powers interesting. Even if it were true, our local court system does not put parents in jail for negligence, excessive absences, or even abuse, unless it is at the level of felony. We have kids who have been out over 30 days already–nothing has happened. We have kids on “attendance contracts” who routinely violate them–nothing.

The rub for us will be the science thing. The kids at risk of failing CRCT (they have failed before) get pulled out for intervention during science and social studies. I mean, they NEVER have instruction in it. Yeah, we try to teach the GPS during reading class (along with 11,000 other things.

Dekalb needs to slim down its bloated central office, and get boots on the ground to teach. It also need to more carefully evaluate its supervisory staff. At least the APS cheats had to be officially caught using a more sophisticated technique(erasure analysis). (Can you imagine what was said when APS found out they were using THAT to double check scores! “Whaddaya mean, check erasures! They can’t do that, can they??!!”)

Dunwoody Mom

March 23rd, 2011
7:32 am

@catlady, here is hoping that by next year, the politicians will get off their collective behinds, and reauthorize ESEA. The current method of determining AYP as proposed by Arne Duncan reshapes how schools make AYP – in fact I think the term AYP may even be eliminated!!!

I would certainly mount a campaign to contact all federal House and Senate representatives to get this reauthorization going.

Independent

March 23rd, 2011
7:32 am

Yea, it does sound like a death wish. Even if he had been treatened with being fired if the school did not make AYP, he now is not only going to be fired but has been arrested, too! However, I will say, it is like you being held accountable for another person in your department’s attendance. You can’t fire that person, demote him/her, withold pay, or in any way censure him/her. Yet you are told you will be fired if they are absent more than twice in any quarter. What would you do? Why do we set up rules like that in the first place that schools have no way of enforcing. Especially test scores – how are you going to teach kids that aren’t there, or that come and refuse to participate. Learning is a two-way street, it takes a teacher and a student, and both must put out the effoert. Too many times I think politicians think teachers should be able just to pour the knowledge into students’ heads and everything will be wonderful. That isn’t the case in real life. By the way, I am NOT a teacher, although I have been told I would be a great science teacher. I would not want to go into a field where I am constantly harrassed by administrators, politicians, parents, the public for not being a miracle worker. One of my favorite movies of all time was To Sir, With Love, but that teacher would have been ridden out of the school system on a rail for failure to follow the prescribed format for his teaching.

Double Zero Eight

March 23rd, 2011
8:08 am

After the CRCT scandal, every teacher shown have known
better and refused to honor his directive/request.

Obviously, the assistant principal is a buffoon!

Economics Teacher

March 23rd, 2011
8:52 am

It is insane. Especially insane given the fact that he could have just done it all by himself on the down low and probably not got caught. Administrators have full access to the computer attendance system and can change it without the teacher.

Atlanta Media Guy

March 23rd, 2011
8:58 am

It wouldn’t surprise me if Audria “puttin’ on the Ritz with Clew’s P-card” Berry, had this gentlemen change the records.. Her office of improvement is abysmal, failing and she knows the writing is on the wall. Any sane “new Super” would never keep this woman, in their inner circle, with her record of failures at DCSS’ Office of Improvement.

Is Stoneview a Title 1 school? If it is and the records were fudged, wouldn’t there be Federal charges forthcoming? Seems to me these “changed” documents directly correlates to the amount of Title 1 funds Stoneview would get. Am I wrong about this?

We need new audits of everything and an OPEN discussion about every detail of those audits. NOTHING KEPT PRIVATE! I’m tired of the lack of transparency that Tyson promised when she took the top job. Hey Ramona, you’re getting paid the big bucks now, why don’t you become a leader and start cleaning house, so our new Super can come in, fire you and rebuild DCSS into a successful school system that has a special respect for the DCSS mission and its’ students.

I am tired of the friends and family plan, it never has worked and is costing the DeKalb taxpayer dearly with legal costs and other costs that have nothing to do with the school house and educating our children. Until Tyson, Turk, Moseley, Mitchell-Mayfield, Thompson, Ramsey, Tucker, , Audria Berry, the Guilroy’s, Jamal Edwards and everyone directly involved with the folks mentioned above ARE GONE! FIRED! RETIRED! WHATEVER! DCSS will remain the fraud it has been since Clew took power and made DCSS into a gravy train for his friends and family. The sad thing, even though Clew is gone, the gravy train continues.

This man who changed attendance record SHOULD be suspended WITHOUT PAY, until the charges are proven false. I’m tired of letting the accused sit in an office at the Palace and continue to draw a paycheck. In the private sector this guy would be fired TODAY!

Ms. Tyson it’s time to prove you are worth the huge salary you are making and to start being a TRUE leader. Pink slips need to start going out very soon for the Palace Guard, Clew’s inner circle of “leaders” not the teachers, paras and the honest Principals and Asst. Principals that still work for the system.

philosopher

March 23rd, 2011
9:01 am

No need to get nasty. Iam the teacher said exactly what he/she meant to say, but failed to put it in quotation marks: “but I don’t condone ‘no grade less than 70%’”. It wasn’t that hard to figure out as it was in response to a prior posting. His/her opinion did not deserve such a brutal dismissal. If you’re expecting perfect grammar and no typos in this blog, you are going to be very, very disappointed.

2 cents

March 23rd, 2011
9:06 am

yep, this guy is really stupid

admin can go in and change grades, attendance, or anyother thing they want without the teacher even knowing about it.

dont forget its part of GA law that an admin can do this. The admin can change a students grade if they are so inclined

Dunwoody Mom

March 23rd, 2011
9:21 am

You have to wonder what Mr. Wooten was thinking. Stoneview was already under the microscope as it was identified as one of the schools with suspect scores in the CRCT cheating investigation. This school was not going to make AYP regardless of the attendance data – so, why the rush to fudge the attendance numbers?

Shar

March 23rd, 2011
9:24 am

I’m surprised that you’re surprised. You are, after all, the parent of a teenager, and this AP’s behavior has all the hallmarks of ill-considered, self-absorbed thinking so typical of the immature. I can just hear the wheels turning – “It’ll be easy to just fix this. No one will know. I’ll get some other people to share the blame so ‘they’ can’t punish all of us.” Are you sure this fella is old enough to be an AP?

As far as attendance itself, that should be the responsibility of the parent, not the school. I have long held that parents must, must have requirements in return for the privilege of a free education for their children. Fulfilling those requirements should allow parents to choose a school in their zone for their kids. Failure means that the child is assigned to a school that provides the support their parents won’t, and the loss of government payments for the noncompliant parents. The responsibilities don’t entail any socio-economic or ethnic considerations, just base level parenting – getting your child to school on time, with homework done, rested, fed, healthy and behaving in such a way that teachers can teach and other students can learn.

Making administrators professionally responsible for these things is just silly. The parental paradigm of being divorced from your child’s school day must radically change if schools are to improve and kids learn. Just look at the difference between schools with active parents and those without.

Art Thomas

March 23rd, 2011
10:32 am

Reading the article… I see the scum is still on administrative payroll..why not fired immediately ? this no count liar and false leader hould be incarcerated with the vast majroity of other Dekalb dishonest so called admin. who advocate cheating and courruption.

Dekalbite

March 23rd, 2011
10:35 am

Perhaps this AP was responsible for ensuring student attendance so he fixed the attendance numbers the most expedient way possible because he really didn’t know how to address the attendance problem in an intelligent, thoughtful, meaningful way. So many administrators in DCSS has no interest in the classroom – only in their career path. I’ll bet if you look at his job description, it will include ensuring he attendance numbers meet AYP. When all was said and and the school did not make AYP, he could say, well – I met my attendance target so I met my objective. Does anyone know if APs are in charge of attendance numbers. In APS and DCSS so many of the administrators will use any shortcut to get those AYP numbers on target – to heck with the kids. Title 1 funds are misspent. They are funding non-teaching personnel, extensive travel and expensive learning programs. DCSS refuses to put that money back into direct instruction because they will lose their power and patronage center.

Dekalbite@dunwoody mom

March 23rd, 2011
10:55 am

No offense, but you have given an opinion. I don’t believe your opinion unless you can five the precise data and provide weblinks from a credible website.

AYP measures the RATE of improvement that schools make. Steady improvement is what is valued. Gwinnett and Clayton and every other school system in metro Atlanta have more Title 1 schools making adequate yearly progress than DCSS. That’s a fact and can be backed up fronm the state website (see my post above). The rules are the same for all school sytems. Perhaps instead of making excuses for DCSS upper management and the BOE we should be installing management that know how to appropriate resources so that teachers and students can get the job done. We do not have defective teachers or students in DeKalb. The classroom environment has been drained of needed resources and poor management practices have been allowed to flourish. Put the accountability where it belongs – on the management of DCSS.

Another APS Teacher

March 23rd, 2011
10:58 am

To answer your question Maureen, because they do it all the time and get away with it. Attendance is altered by the front office at my school on a daily basis. I keep a paper copy of my attendance in my grade book and could show you the wild inconsistencies between the true attendance and what the computer says.

Dekalbite@dunwoody mom

March 23rd, 2011
11:00 am

Sorry for the typo. I should have said all other metro systems have a greater percentage of their Title 1 schools making adequate yearly progress than DCSS. Surely you understand this is why we have those few receiver schools who made AYP so overcrowded. This problem with the Office of School Improvement is spilling over into non-Title 1 schools. Maybe now it will get some attention for the students in the Title 1 schools. I’ve taught in most of the Title 1 schools. That’s why I say the problem does not lie with the students or teachers.

Dunwoody Mom

March 23rd, 2011
11:05 am

@Dekalbite – you are totally obsessed with this “AYP” term. I would suggest to actually look at the data behind this “AYP” term. “AYP” is nonsense. Do you know there are actually schools that have overall excellent scores, but fail to make AYP because of a certain subgroup scores? That there are schools with not-so-great test scores that do make AYP? Also, that as few as a handful of students can cause a school to make/not make AYP. AYP is a joke, everyone knows it.

In actuality, after having done my own analysis with actual test data, DCSS Title 1 schools made good strides last year with the CRCT Math scores in 2009-2010 vs. 2008-2009.

Vince

March 23rd, 2011
11:26 am

People tend to speak in generalities and they often do not know what they are talking about.

Someone mentioned that Dekalb administrators were promoted after just a few years in the classroom. Not true. Many of us had 15 – 20 successful years in the classroom before we went into administration.

@Dekalbite…. True, fewer schools made AYP in 2010 than in 2009, but it had very little to do with the cheating scandal. It had to do with the bar being raised. A much higher percentage of kids had to pass the CRCT in 2010 than in 2009. It will be worse this year with the bar being raised close to the “perfection” level coming in 2013.

Was it stupid for the guy to change attendance records? Absolutely. Was it stupid for administrators and teachers to do less than ethical things with the CRCT? Absolutely. But it is difficult for parents and lay people to see the pressure put on school administrators and teachers by NCLB.

Here is what we face:

A child comes into your school from Mexico, or Ethiopia or Nepal…or from anywhere…in August. Not only is the school supposed to have the child reading the CRCT (in English) by April, but he is expected to pass it at grade level.

A child has an IQ of 50 and doesn’t speak or have the ability to hold a pencil. That child must be presented with the CRCT and his score will count toward the school making AYP.

We tell parents not to send their kids to school when they are sick. Yet, the school is punished by not making AYP if too many of the kids stay home sick. Some schools have classes that are labeled as “medically fragile.” These students are often sick or must stay home if there is any strep or flu in the building. These students’ absences, no matter how justifiable, will count against the school for AYP.

Now think about it. Teachers and administrators are told that the school must make AYP or they will lose their jobs. Schools and teachers face humiliation from the media for not making AYP. The media doesn’t care if a school didn’t make AYP because it had 200 new immigrants from Ethiopia or if the school had an extremey large number of special ed students. It’s more fun for them to label a school as failing.

Think about it. The real culprit is NCLB.

Ernest

March 23rd, 2011
11:27 am

Dekalbite, I think you are onto something in your 10:35 posting however I still contend that making educators responsible for actions/behaviors such as attendance that they have no control over causes normally rational adults to do strange things. This AP should be punished to the maximum extent of the law however I do understand how the pressures of high stakes testing impacts some people. Add to that the stigma associated with a school not making AYP, that could be a ‘career killer’ also.

I can’t think of anyone that would want to be measured on something they don’t have control over.

teacher&mom

March 23rd, 2011
11:35 am

I’m not condoning the AP’s actions.

But….

I’ve worked in a school that did not make AYP because of attendance. Here’s what the general public fails to appreciate….Schools have limited powers in dealing with chronic truancy. They can basically fail the students, and then report the parents to DFACS and the juvenile court system. If the court system or DFACS fails to address the issue or continually “warns” the student without any repercussions…then nothing changes.

However, the school is still penalized. We resorted to “attendance reward parties” where teachers pitched in their own money to buy ice cream, snacks, etc. to reward students. This went on for a few years and then a new juvenile court judge was appointed. He made a HUGE difference in our truancy rate and we no longer worried about AYP.

Just another excellent example of the unintended consequences of NCLB

Dekalbite@ Dunwoody Mom

March 23rd, 2011
11:36 am

Why don’t you share your analyses with us? It’s easy to say I’ve analyzed the data, and this is my conclusion. But to convince anyone, you need to share your data and your data analyses. Otherwise, it is as I stated before – your opinion.

AYP is not a joke. AYP drives the billions poured into tutoring, instructional coaches, parent centers, learning programs as well as being responsible for the overcrowding of non-Title 1 as well as Title 1 schools that make AYP and the intimidation of teachers to change grades in order to improve the graduation and APs to change attendance in order to improve attendance numbers, etc. It is the definitive measurement of school systems in the U.S. Whether you or I agree with its premise is irrelevant. It is the single most important factor driving education today so understand AYP is of the utmost importance if you wish to understand what’s happening in public education.

While I do not believe in test scores as a basis for teacher pay and have many criticisms of AYP and NCLB, one of the most important and useful facets of AYP data is the emphasis on disaggregated scores. Disaggregated scores have allowed us to see what subgroups consistently fail to master even the most basic skills – e.g. students who cannot add, subtract, multiply and divide, students who cannot read a passage and tell you the main idea of the passage – would you not agree that it’s necessary to be able to master these basic skills? Disaggregated test scores let us know that segments of our school population are not able to read and write and compute at a level that is necessary to survive in our economy. This is valuable data that has been misused. Perhaps a revamping of NCLB will allow us to use this data as feedback to improve in these areas with additional resources focused on these particular students. People have a tendency to write off the disaggregated subgroup data that show that Students with Disabilities and Economically Disadvantaged and ESOL students are not reading and writing and computing at a level that will allow them to be productive citizens as if they are hopeless and we should not address these groups with additional educational efforts. AYP disaggregating these subgroups is an “in your face” look at the members of these groups and the fact that many of them are not mastering the content that makes them literate.

DCSS has gotten in trouble because they have not looked at disaggregated subgroup data in a meaningful way – as an opportunity to improve the educational opportunities for these students. They have looked at these subgroups as a way to climb that corporate ladder with false results obtained by any means necessary. That’s why it’s important to show how the made AYP figures for the Title 1 schools coming out of the Office of School Improvement have been a sham. A drop of 80+% of Title 1 schools making AYP BEFORE strict monitoring and only 50+% making AYP AFTER strict monitoring shows that this department that makes the spending decisions for hundreds of millions of dollars allocated for Title 1 students has not been making sound decisions that produced literacy for many of the members of these subgroups. If there were no AYP numbers, this department could simply go along the way they have been while these Title 1 school students do not get the educational gains they should be getting.

While DCSS Title 1 students have made improvements in some areas, Fulton, Gwinnett, Clayton, etc. Title 1 schools are improving at a GREATER RATE than DCSS. That’s what these figures show.

Teacher

March 23rd, 2011
11:50 am

Another administrator bites the dust at their own hands. I would never risk doing anything illegal in a school district for any reason. It just is not worth it at all. Another educated fool!

Ed

March 23rd, 2011
11:52 am

Vince–
Thank you thank you thank you.
If AYP weren’t such a blunt instrument it might be worthwhile. I think you left out another “for instance”–for instance, a child transfers into a school in March (or even April) and takes CRCT in his/her new school. His/her score is then ascribed to the new school, not the one he or she just came from (or, in the case of some immigrant kids, the ‘no school at all’ he or she just came from).

AYP simply does not account for the concept that there is no such thing as a generic student. Imagine the challenges the International Community School–BY DESIGN 50% immigrant and refugee–has in meeting standards to all appearances designed with upper middle class majority white, all English as a first language, no special needs kids in mind!

Ashley

March 23rd, 2011
12:04 pm

When I attended high-school (1972-76) We had 1st period before homeroom , the reasoning was so tardy or late students could be counted, since attendance was taken in homeroom, or course if you weren’t there you were absent. Cheats and fraud seem to rule the schools nowadays. He should be ashamed for calling himself an educator.

Just to let you know

March 23rd, 2011
12:07 pm

@Ed- Students that transfer schools after October do not have thier test scores counted for any school. So if a student transfers into a school in February, their test scores will not help or hurt the school’s AYP status.

Dunwoody Mom

March 23rd, 2011
12:18 pm

@Dekalbite – my data is an excel spreadsheet, with each Title 1 elementary school’s scores broken down, so it is not going to post here, but basically to summarize:

Even with the passing scores rising from 59.5% in 2008-2009 to 67.6% in 2009-2010, 30 DCSS Title 1 Elementary Schools saw an increase in Math CRCT scores with a net gain overall for DCSS of 21.4 points. 12 Schools improved by 0 to 5 points; 14 schools improved by 5 to 10 points; 4 schools improved 10 to 20 points .

28 schools saw a decrease in Math CRCT Scores. 16 schools saw a decrease by 0 to 5 points; 5 schools saw a decrease of 5 to 10 points; 5 schools saw a decrease by 10 to 20 points. 1 school saw a decrease of 20 to 25 points.

Note: Of the 16 schools who saw a decrease, 4 were those schools identified as involved in the CRCT Cheating Scandal. Since we do not know what the “real” scores for the students would have been in 2008-2009, the decrease for 2009-2010 may not have been quite so dramatic.

If you like for me to email you a copy of my spreadsheet, send me a request at dunwoodyschooldaze@yahoo.com.

Ernest

March 23rd, 2011
12:46 pm

I’ll say this again, I hope that if any of the other 23 employees are cleared of wrongdoing, they are able to return to their jobs.

teacher&mom is also reiterating the point I’ve been making, NCLB has caused some unintended consequences. It has provided greater visibility into the various subgroups with the disaggregated data, however it has resulted in cheating which hurts the students at the end of the day.

@Dekalbite, would you agree that a story on how Title 1 schools in Fulton, Gwinnett, Clayton, etc. are improving would provide value? I think we all want to know strategies that can help students.