In reversal, state will now continue CRCT probe in Dougherty County schools

Given the failure of Dougherty County to look hard enough at its schools flagged in the CRCT erasure audit, Gov. Nathan Deal made the right choice to reverse his earlier position and continue the state probe into what went on there.

Earlier this week, Deal’s office said the Dougherty investigation was dropped because the governor was satisfied with the internal investigation — which seemed odd since the internal investigation didn’t seem at all extensive. I was cynical enough to wonder if the state examination was deeper and wider in APS because a major newspaper and multiple TV stations were watching.

I am not sure what led to this reversal, but Dougherty deserves the same thorough examination that APS received.

(Take a look at my AJC colleague Jim Galloway’s blog on the WABE radio interview with Mark Elgart, president and CEO of AdvanceEd, parent firm of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, in which Elgart says the APS scandal “is probably more extensive and broad-based than we’ve experienced any place else in the country.”)

According to Deal’s office:

Gov. Nathan Deal has granted the request of state investigators to complete their investigation into the 2009 administration of the CRCT exams in Dougherty County.

“After reviewing the preliminary results of the investigation in Dougherty County on Wednesday and today, contrary to my initial impression, I do not believe the investigation should be terminated,” said former Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers in a message sent to the Governor’s Office Thursday. “Given those preliminary results, it is my recommendation that we complete the investigation in Dougherty. We will do this expeditiously with as little intrusion into the school system as is possible.”

Deal on Tuesday released the investigators’ findings of how the Atlanta Public Schools administered the 2009 exams. The report found systemic cheating. The investigation into the exam administration in Atlanta and Dougherty County began at the behest of then-Gov. Sonny Perdue in 2010.

“After completing the Atlanta Public Schools report, we had hoped that we were at a stopping point,” said Deal. “Unfortunately, I received word Thursday that the investigators’ review of their preliminary results in Dougherty County has raised grave concerns. We owe it to the children of Dougherty County to get answers, and our commitment to equal protection under the law requires us to treat all jurisdictions equally. In other words, the state simply cannot single out Atlanta if strong evidence suggests similar patterns elsewhere.

“I have instructed the investigators to present me with a complete report of their investigation into the Dougherty County School System as quickly as possible.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

44 comments Add your comment

Shar

July 8th, 2011
9:51 am

Perhaps it is time to institute random investigations statewide of any schools or specific classrooms where the rate of increase meets the 3x standard deviation threshold used by the governor’s special investigators. Punishment of any group found cheating should be immediate and catastrophic – loss of certification, loss of pension, loss of job.

Clearly, the Atlanta cheaters up to and including Beverly Hall had no expectation that they would ever be called to account. The spectre of the state DOE swooping in and going through everything with a fine toothed comb would make every teacher and administrator stop and think before deciding to cheat.

Angela

July 8th, 2011
9:53 am

I can’t wait to see the comments on this one!! If it is Dekalb, Clayton, Atlanta or South Fulton people are ready to quickly say, ” I am not surprised.” Hmmmm. I wonder why? Anyway, I think ALL of the counties that ANY school with high erasures should be investigated becuase by the time Georgia children get to college the evidence is striking how many need assistance, so I think the problem is more widespread than Atlanta. I just think Atlanta is being used as a scapegoat!!!

I really agree with the governor. I am a democrat, but I think Deal is doing a good job. I like the fact that he is not afraid to tackle some of the tough issues.

Double Zero Eight

July 8th, 2011
10:06 am

If the DOE had done its job, an investigation would have taken place
at least five years ago. There are many school systems that have
cheated since the CRCT became a key measurement for educators.
The *Class of 2009* will serve as the designated “scapegoats”
for cheating. The DOE does not want to know in detail what transpired
throughout Georgia prior to 2009. They see no need to open up that
“can of worms”.

Dr. Beverly Hall's Conscience

July 8th, 2011
10:25 am

They are all cheating “where it is needed” because the goals are impossible.

Cheating is “not yet needed” on the scale we saw in Atlanta because the demographics elsewhere do not require it,

Only cheating on an “industrial scale” such as Atlanta, DC, Baltimore went undetected because of political correctness: “”Policies that reward testing outcomes, Hendrie said, are likely to face less internal scrutiny. “When you have dramatic improvement, people point to that as evidence that this belief system is right. Those who raise questions, there’s this mindset where they’re asked, ‘are you questioning whether disadvantaged kids can achieve at high levels?’” she said.”".

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

July 8th, 2011
10:30 am

Does anyone think that testing-abuse probes will end with the conclusion of the Dougherty County Schools System investigation?

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

July 8th, 2011
10:32 am

Folks,

Let’s remember “to keep our eyes on the prize” of student learning.

Dr. Beverly Hall's Conscience

July 8th, 2011
10:36 am

@Maureen

JOURNALISTS AS SCHOOL WATCHDOGS

A few months ago, former Washington, D.C. schools chief Michelle Rhee visited Georgia with her lobbying group, StudentsFirst. She sat down with Judd and Vogell, and asked them several questions about the Atlanta cheating scandal.

Only a few weeks later, USA Today wrote several stories investigating statistically suspicious testing gains in Rhee’s own classrooms.

These episodes, says Caroline Hendrie, executive director of the Education Writers Association, underscore the importance of investigative education reporting.

“Newspaper reporters play a very valuable watchdog role, particularly in the climate we’re in right now with regard to test-based accountability,” Hendrie said.

Policies that reward testing outcomes, Hendrie said, are likely to face less internal scrutiny. “When you have dramatic improvement, people point to that as evidence that this belief system is right. Those who raise questions, there’s this mindset where they’re asked, ‘are you questioning whether disadvantaged kids can achieve at high levels?’” she said.

“In and of itself, beyond the mechanistic accountability, it’s a powerful incentive to not be super-aggressive and not be super-skeptical when there are dramatic leaps,” Hendrie continued. “Given that climate, it’s really important for journalists not to suspend their disbelief and make sure that they remain skeptical and keep the heat on.”

Incredulous

July 8th, 2011
10:55 am

You have a generation of students that were collectively robbed of their future. Now is the time to pour on the coals, like John Henry going up the side of a mountain driving spikes. Extend the investigation to include all schools and systems that were flagged. Make Georgia a model for reform and justice that will make us a source of esteem rather than ridicule. Do not accept the status quo. Hire an investigative team with no ties or relationships to any of the involved groups. No friends, no family, no business relationships. Governor! Clean house and do it now.

Paulo977

July 8th, 2011
11:01 am

Inman Park Boy

July 8th, 2011
11:05 am

I would suggest that the problems in Daugherty County are similar to those in Atlanta, DeKalb and Clayton. Let’s not play footsie here.

Incredulous

July 8th, 2011
11:06 am

What are the chances that this circumstances brings to light common practices? If they cheated under these circumstances, they were likely to have cheated prior to NCLB. The current conditions just magnified the actions.

Dr. John Trotter

July 8th, 2011
11:37 am

There has been so much pressure about “the achievement gap” from the top…all the way up the ladder to Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education. All of these educrats keep muttering “All Children Can Learn.” Yes, this is true, but not ALL children WANT to learn. This is the key. How many time do I need to say this? >>> The motivation to learn is a social process or a cultural phenomenon. If children come from a culture or sub-culture that does not value literacy and learning, then the children do not bring to school much or any motivation to learn.

Urban education. This is where the greatest problem in the public schooling process lies. The test scores, left alone without systematic cheating, in the urban schools are dismal…quite often because the students are too lazy and too UNMOTIVATED to even read the tests. They will simply just randomly fill in spaces. I am just telling the truth. Classroom educators know that I am telling the truth. So, what do these big-time urban superintendents do? You know the rest of the story…

I have written extensively on this… >>>

georgiateachersspeakout.com

theteachersadvocate.com

Dougherty County? Yes, by all means continue the investigation there. And what about DeKalb and elsewhere? And, what is Surely Ain’t Committed to Standards (SACS) going to do about it? I am sure that SACS will not apply the “Clayton Standard” where it destroyed a community apparently because the business players-who-were at the time did not like who had gotten elected to the school board. (SACS is a tool of the business community.) That was what it was about in Clayton. Pure politics. What did the board members get removed for? Wasn’t it one or two school board meetings which violated the Open Meetings Act? In one illegal meeting, the SACS Chieftain himself, Mark Elgart, participated along with then State Board members Bradley (Brad) Bryant and James Bostic and school board attorney Glenn Brock. Now how many illegal school board meetings did the Cobb County Board of Education participated in? Fifty-seven (57), right? This school board is continuing to violate the Open Meetings Act. Who advises this board of legal matters? Brock, Clay, Calhoun & Rogers. The hypocrisy among the “Big Boys” is enough to make you want to chew tobacco, to quote my mother.

Money. Folks, it’s all about the money. Always follow the money and see who is making the huge sums of money off of these school systems. IT is the testing publishers…curriculum study guide publishers…school board attorneys…so-called “educational consultants”…gypsy superintendents…textbook publishers…computers hardware salespeople…computer software salespeople. The Educational Commercial Complex. The kids get lost in the shuffle. The money is simply too big for the business folks to ignore. For examples, the budgets in large school systems like DeKalb, Cobb, Gwinnett, and Fulton are over a billion dollars per year. Yes, over a BILLION DOLLARS per year.

Dr. John Trotter

July 8th, 2011
11:39 am

I did not properly do the links…Sorry.

http://www.georgiateachersspeakout.com

http://www.theteachersadvocate.com

Now I see what that “www” stuff is for! Ha!

Lee

July 8th, 2011
11:40 am

@Angela, re “I can’t wait to see the comments on this one!! If it is Dekalb, Clayton, Atlanta or South Fulton people are ready to quickly say, ” I am not surprised.” Hmmmm. I wonder why?”

Dougherty County is 67% black. Is that what you were waiting for? Are we surprised that yet another majority black school system is so dysfunctional that it cannot pass a simple test without resorting to cheating?

Race and IQ. As they say, do the research.

Dekalb Oldtimer

July 8th, 2011
11:40 am

Erasures????Not the only way of cheating, Folks. Did you see the interview with the newly graduated young lady on Channel 11 last night? She remembered well teachers giving correct answers to students [including herself] as far back as 3rd grade.
Having been in a school system over 30 years, I am pretty sure that these erasures are only a part of the cheating. There are other ways to go about it.

Incredulous

July 8th, 2011
11:48 am

@lee. Go back in your trailer and turn on Jerry Springer. Please.

Out of the Bag

July 8th, 2011
11:49 am

The cheating is all over Georgia. Investigate every high ‘poverty’ school who makes AYP.

SPM2111

July 8th, 2011
12:02 pm

To Angela,
You are on to something, and I see your underlying message. While I am angry by the recent APS report, I can’t help but think that this is not just an APS, Clayton County, Dekalb County, and now Dougherty County issue. In other words, all of these systems are majority African American. You can’t tell me that this isn’t going on in predominantly white districts as well, and has been for possibly years. Do they do a better job of covering their tracks, or does the microscope only focus on these minority areas? Is it that these counties gain an extra eye because they are predominantly black, and people are suspect of black students’ ability to learn? While the APS situation is tragic, I can’t help but believe this was a part of a higher, targeted, racially motivated effort to prove somebody’s point.

Dr. Beverly Hall's Conscience

July 8th, 2011
12:31 pm

Counties/districts with a majority ADVANTAGED families do not have to cheat AS MUCH and will probably go undetected.

Counties/districts with a majority DISADVANTAGED families have to cheat on a INDUSTRIAL scale and will be detected if we open our eyes..

Let’s not bring race into it. The AVERAGE Black kids at Westminster and Andover get into better schools then the AVERAGE White kid from Dunwoody. Apples to apples, ok?

Lee

July 8th, 2011
1:15 pm

@SPM, re: “…people are suspect of black students’ ability to learn? … I can’t help but believe this was a part of a higher, targeted, racially motivated effort to prove somebody’s point.”

Oh good grief. Next, you’ll be talking about seeing black helicopters flying over the schools during CRCT week and that’s the reason these majority black schools can’t pass a simple test.

Wait, I can say “black helicopters”, can’t I? I mean, I don’t want to offfffeeeennnnndddd anyone.

Out of the Bag

July 8th, 2011
2:24 pm

It’s going on all over. Only Atlanta teachers and administrators were stupid enough to have kids going from retarded to genius in one year. Which is a comment in itself.

Darren Beck

July 8th, 2011
2:30 pm

Don’t let this denigrate into race baiting or class division. People cheated, regardless of color or zip code. People lied, regardless of color or zip code. Content of character is a colorblind measure. Just please do not forget that this is ultimately about failing kids. And these are kids who need the most support and an effort well beyond the finger-pointing and scapegoating being reported. Blaming NCLB for the actions of the responsible parties is to completely lose track of the critical issue that kids were screwed over in all of this. Time to clean house and really focus on the whole issue at hand about student achievement. Again, regardless of color or zip code, EVERY child in Georgia, in this nation, deserves better than we too often give them as the adults in their lives. Come on people, let’s really do keep our eye on the prize!

Kids failing basic skills tests means we need to change how they are taught and what extra helps they need. Cheating like this means someone is trying to keep these young people under- and uneducated so they are less likely to cry foul when they are older. Keep them disenfranchised and they will simply stew in their anger and never realize the amazing potential they have. And it sure as hell is easier NOT to educate kids that are many grade levels behind than to provide longer school years and days, more individualized tutoring, and other supports for them achievement. God bless the kids who seem to constantly be thrown under the bus of political expedience. Again, Georgia’s kids deserve much more and better.

Dr. Beverly Hall's Conscience

July 8th, 2011
2:38 pm

@ Darren,

You are giving the racist fodder. You are describing extreme dysfunction and think the schoolhouse can fix it?

You would blame the police if a parent harmed a child at home yet you are blaming educators because that parent harmed the child educationally at home.

Yes-the child deserve better. Fixing it is not a police or school issue.

Kira Willis

July 8th, 2011
3:52 pm

On another note,
Maureen, you have done an absolutely bang up job covering all of this. I know that I look forward to your posts every day, and I hope I speak for all of us when I say that I appreciate what you do.

Eddie G

July 8th, 2011
5:25 pm

Dougherty County schools may be 67% black in grades K-12…………but I guarantee you it’s not that low of a percentage in the middle/high schools.

Out of the Bag

July 8th, 2011
5:37 pm

Sweatin’ bullets in Dougherty…..

Lee

July 8th, 2011
5:52 pm

@Eddie, the 67% Black number was from the 2010 census for Dougherty County. You’re right, the school system has a much higher percentage of minority students – many schools in the 90+% range. You can go here to get the actual demographics: http://www.globalscholar.com/schoolfinder/default.aspx

Lee

July 8th, 2011
5:56 pm

@Darren, yes, people cheated and lied. However, the facts remain, the high percentage black schools are the ones who were caught up in this mess. When you show me a 90+% white school who was caught cheating, I’ll shut up about the racial aspects of it.

David Sims

July 8th, 2011
6:17 pm

The state investigation should cover all of Georgia’s “severe concern” schools, in the high-to-low order of the percentage of classrooms suspected of cheating on the 2009 CRCT. Atlanta had most of them, but there are 28 more “severe concern” listed schools in other counties.

Mike

July 8th, 2011
6:47 pm

Lee, try Hall County. Ajc and WSB have both done stories on the cheating/gaming the system up here Only difference is no governmental investigation of the non black leadership up here. Hmm.

Mike

July 8th, 2011
6:48 pm

And a couple of the schools involved up here are predominant white. I guess you can hush up now.

South Georgia Teacher

July 8th, 2011
7:13 pm

The schools in Dougherty County are much more that 67% black. Many of the schools are 98% black. One elementary school has a good many white students, but by middle school, most of those students have gone elsewhere.

TaxPayer

July 8th, 2011
8:31 pm

Some teachers in Dougherty County retired to keep from being found out. Will this affect them in anyway?

dekalbite

July 8th, 2011
9:19 pm

Look at the Made AYP (student achievement as measured by standardized test scores) rate for APS Title 1 schools (as of 2010, 93% of APS schools are Title 1):

I. 2009 (BEFORE strict test monitoring):
81% of APS Title 1 schools Made AYP (75 out of 93)

http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=104&CountyId=761&T=1&FY=2009

II. 2010 (AFTER strict test monitoring):
58% of APS Title 1 Made AYP (53 out of 91)

http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=104&CountyId=761&T=1&FY=2010

Look at the same numbers for DeKalb Schools (As of 2010, 67% of DeKalb schools are Title 1):

I. 2009 (BEFORE strict test monitoring):
74% of DCSS Title 1 Schools Made AYP (66 out of 89)

http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=104&CountyId=644&T=1&FY=2009

II. 2010 (AFTER strict test monitoring):
52% Made AYP (46 out of 89)

http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=104&CountyId=644&T=1&FY=2010

There must be a reason that 20 low income Title 1 schools dropped out of making AYP in DCSS in 2009-10 (after strict test monitoring), but no one wants to address this issue.

Incredulous

July 8th, 2011
10:30 pm

@lee. There is a note on your trailer door next to the pile of beers cans , just to the left of the broken clothes washer that you use to support your steps. The note reads.” The predominately white counties were flagged, but were conveniently overlooked in the investigation.”

A tip from a friend @Dr. Trotter and @ Maureen

July 9th, 2011
2:32 am

I am an administrator that works in another district in suburban Atlanta. I really hate to hear all the rhetoric about children of color not learning or being able to learn. I always talk to my teachers about giving as much as you can for as long as you can. I tell them that is all that you can do and that is all that I can ask you to do for our school. As an admin. team, we provide a lot of in school interventions (i.e. extra time built in the day for reading and math and placing students with teachers who are able to work with the more difficult students). I encourage my teachers daily to not give up on the students because I am a product of the same school where I currently work. Dr. Trotter said that it is a cultural issue and I try to talk to my parents about working as a team on instruction and discipline, which usually works. High stakes testing is not a true indicator of success. My students that come to us are already many grade levels behind in reading and/or math and it is simply impossible to have them reach a level of proficiency by the end of the year. Incremental growth is what I look at when evaluating the students. It may be small steps with some and greater steps with others. It really vaires from child to child. I think the standard should be the same, but each student needs to be looked at as an individual and not a stat. People it is really hard to provide support for so many students when a good amount of your population leaves during the school year.
This scandal has given a black eye to schools that work in poverty stricken neighborhoods. Educating these children can be done, but it takes special people to work hard to make it happen (teachers, parents, community members, and administrators).
Teachers make the difference each day, administrators set the tone and enable them to do their job effectively. I am asking for Maureen and the AJC to shine some light on schools that are doing good things (I know it is not the most popular form of journalism), but my teachers and other teachers that have great results will love the POSITIVE attention for a change. How about a weekly spotlight on a school that is doing great things for students and teachers (recommendations coming from teachers, students, and parents). Just a suggestion!

Lee

July 9th, 2011
9:17 am

@Mike, Hall County is 35-40% hispanic. Nice try though.

Joyce

July 9th, 2011
9:28 am

Wake up…it was cheating in the highest degree. No one is excusable. In fact every system in the state should be checked-out. If you read the articles, and if the new articles are true, why put the fox in the hen house, let the outside group do the work of looking at test scores not the state board of educaiton, state department employees, local systems, or SACS. The reason being these groups are all connected at the hip with the local school system superintendents. Have you every heard of the Georgia School Boards Association and the Georgia School Supertintendent Association. Well, look and see how they are connected. The Superintendents have there fingers all in the Georgia School Boards Association Business. Same with SACS. You see if school systems did not join the Southern Accrediation Accreditation of Schools they would be out of business. They are not the organization they were 20 years ago where teachers were proud their system belonged. Because it was a check and balance system.Now, it is not that way. Why did they not jump in when cheating was evident in APS.Could it be $$$$$$. if Atlanta stopped joining. And, I have not seen GAE or PAGE stepping in the represent their teachers..why? Because they represent administrators, too. So who are they going to choose. I hate to bring you..some gripping news but all kinds of wrong doings are going on in majority of the local school systems. If you really want to open a can of worms, ask your local board members to have a audit done. They well respond, Oh, the state does one every year. Well it is not a detailed audit if it were they would probably catch- miss use of stimulus money, etc.miss use of Career and Technology Money, local tax money. You see Bev was given or thought she was given an ok to do what ever. I think all superintendents feel this way. Check you inventories for equipment and other items. At one time everything was inventoryed within each classroom all the way up the chain. Now I think every thing over a certain amount. So if you want to walk away with anything under the amount…what gudielines are stopping anyone.. get my drift. I am not say anyone has stolen anything just the opportunity is present in some systems. So were is the State Department on these issues. Oh, I know no one wants to be bothered about anything and the whole world is roses.
On Cobb County not meeting the laws on board meetings —-You need to know anytime there are 3 board members present anywhere it can be constituted as a board meeting. Also, when a superintendent calls or talks personal with individual board members to get there ok to do something
concerning the school system. This is illegal. They can not do a vote (tongue cheek) outside an official board meeting. This is going on all over the state. Once, superintendent has called a quoram, which could be only 3 members, he has his majority vote. So, at the meeting, some dumb BOE member makes the motion and one seconds and the 3 votes are cast. You see this is under the table things that go on. To hell with the other board members. Also, look at who is being hired for jobs. They know they have been hired before the board has meet in executive session to discuss personal for hire. Then they come out to vote on superentendent recommendation. You see you board of education members have been SHUNKED TO THE HIGHEST DEGREE. You see he has jjust hire his friend or one of his friends friend. And, the most qualified local person is out the door. This needs to be monitored, how I do not know.
The other day there was a comment made and it listed another county’s name….I checked on this and it is a very strong possibility some checking needs to be done on how the superintendent does things with out board approval.
Another thing we in Georgia need to do is have our school system superintendent elected by us not hired (appointed) by the board of education. If we could have the board of education elected and the superintendent elected this may work alot better for everyone. Bring people from outside the state to run our systems as if we do not have sense enough too is a wrong assumption. Look at Cupcake and what she has done. Even bring a person from another school system within Georgia to run your school is or can be a big mistake. Some are not as qualified as local people who have been in the system for years. So WHY NOT ELECT EVERYONE…WE HAVE TRIED THE OTHER TWO OPITIONS AND THEY ARE NOT WORKING….MAKE THE SUPERINTENDENT ACCOUNTALBE AT EVERY MEETING AND EVERYDAY HE/SHE STEPS INTO HIS.HER OFFICE.
John Trotter has hit the nail on the head. Thanks John for what you are doing for education. I feel we need to flush the toilet in many areas of public education and the most clean up is in the area superintendents. When parents and teachers complain it should be taken very strongly and not given lip service too.
Before I close…WHERE WAS THE STATE DEPARTMENT WHEN ALL OF THIS WAS COMING ABOUT….Oh, I know, they just called the superitendent an filled them in on what was going on or did they? You be the judge.
For a big laugh why don’t you ask your board members to have your superintendent to have a detailed audit done. Gracious, you may be greeted with open arms by your good superintendents but pussed off by others. This really steps on their toes.

Joyce

July 9th, 2011
9:42 am

We are spending too much money on testing….Why not give the children things in the classroom which would enhance their learning, such as science labs which are up-to-date with equipment and materials. You see learning starts in the classrooms not taking a test that makes the testing companies richer. By the way, does they State Department get any incentatives from the Testing Compay. If so what are they. We have options available for students when they graduate–ACT, SAT, etc which are entrance examines to high edcation. Also, why test the children so much. Ask you school system for a calendar showing all days of testing. Well, you will be suprised. Students spend more time on vacation days (out of school) and testing days than actual days in the classroom learning..And they might can pass a test to get into a college but when class time comes that will be the shocker because they have not been in classroom teaching setting as much as on vacation days and testing days. Why does the State Department look at this one if they are really concerned with classroom instruction.

Lee

July 9th, 2011
9:47 am

@Incredulous, re: “There is a note on your trailer door…”

Now I know you’re telling a lie. There’s no way you could have made it to the door, what with 34 ‘coon dogs laying around.

I can say “coon” can’t I. I certainly don’t want to oooffffeeennnddd anyone.

Reality

July 9th, 2011
1:14 pm

So, what is the NAACP and the Concerned Black Clergy of Atlanta saying now?

YouthPlay

July 10th, 2011
9:54 am

There are other areas that don’t appear to be in the hot seat that look suspicious. For example, the improvement in the reading scores for Thomasville City Schools from 6th grade (three elementary schools) thru 8th grade looks mighty suspicious. Perhaps Governor Deal needs to look further than Albany and Atlanta; maybe he needs to be looking at his entire education administration for evidence of overlooking other problematic regions in order to show improvement in the overall state report. If you look a little deeper it just comes down to Georgia refusing to provide educational resources to educate “all” of its children. The system would rather cheat or allow cheating than find ways to educate “all” of Georgia’s children so they can pass these tests. If you examine the numbers you will find that Georgia’s education system excels in educating some demographics and doesn’t even come close to mediocre in others. And its a Georgia problem (likely, Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi, too)–some states are doing a much better job and these are not the only states with economically disadvantaged children. “Poverty” is Georgia’s company line for explaining the dismal failure in educating “all” of its children.

Ann

July 10th, 2011
10:29 am

Majority black districts were not singled out for analysis originally by AJC. My understanding is that unusual changes in scores were looked at across many districts in Georgia and the most egregious ones were studied further by the state, while other local school systems were to investigate improprieties of a smaller scale. If the most egregious ones happen to be Atlanta and Dougherty County, it does not mean that only majority black schools were initially studied. You have to follow where the evidence leads you, regardless of the race of the children, and make the necessary corrections to benefit the children.

APS

July 12th, 2011
4:01 pm