How can you spend $22 million on science education and not pass CRCT science test?

An AJC news story on the support the Atlanta business community gave to APS school chief Beverly Hall cites a $22 million donation for science education to the district from the General Electric Foundation.

After seeing that amount, a teacher from a different system sent me this note, which I think is worth discussing here:

Is there a way you can learn more about the General Electric Foundation donation of $22 million given to APS, such as what the money was used for or how it was appropriated?

As a 7th grade science teacher in a district that has not had new science materials/textbooks in over 10 years, this amount given for “science education” is unfathomable to me. I am extremely proud of my students’ CRCT scores by the way, but it seems like having that amount of money to spend in science classrooms should have yielded amazing experiences for the students.

Or to put it more bluntly, how can you spend $22 million and not be able to pass a science CRCT test?

APS was also among the 13 Georgia school systems that benefited from the PRISM program, a five-year, $35 million grant awarded to the University System of Georgia in 2003 from the National Science Foundation to increase science and mathematics achievement in pre-k through high school.

Given all the grant money that poured into APS, did any of it make a difference?

(I have to add a note here that shortly after I posted this, I received a Twitter message from a reader that GE only paid APS when it met the benchmarks built into the grant. GE suspended payments in 2010 so the full $22 million was not paid.)

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

62 comments Add your comment

Nikole

July 17th, 2011
11:20 pm

The money was probably spent on “coordinators” or some farce of a professional development activity rather than actually making it into the hands of science teachers, or individual schools for that matter. That’s what usually happens.

David Sims

July 17th, 2011
11:23 pm

I think that the Gates Foundation kicked APS an equivalent amount with two donations in the $10 million range.

Concerned teacher

July 17th, 2011
11:29 pm

This is crazy! This woman and her many associates are crooks! How do they sleep at night? Yet another reason that teachers are not responsible for test scores…

Lee

July 17th, 2011
11:37 pm

The old punchline comes to mind: “We’re losing money on every transaction, but making it up on volume.”

Sounds like the second thing Superintendent Davis needs to do, after taking out the cheating trash, is to commission a financial forensic audit to see where all the money went.

Inquiring minds and all that….

ex aps teacher

July 18th, 2011
1:07 am

This is a very good point raised.
Where is all this money going?
APS and crook Hall cannot complain that they did not have funds to raise test scores. In fact they were flush with funds. These crooks led by Hall basically ran a scheme that is like the scheme run by the Pakistani and Afghan government. They take all the tax payers money, they say that it is for the kids and then the money never makes it to the classroom.
I taught at APS for 2 years. I was expected to do engaging labs..I taught chemistry.
Every time I would submit detailed orders for chemicals, lab kits and equipment…everytime I would be promised by the department chair and the principal..that the order has been made and it is on the way….I never got anything.
So I had to purchase many things from my own pocket.
I do not doubt the good intention of GE, Bill Gates and the Ann Casey Foundation…..but they have essentially shovelled money to fill the pocket books of Hall and her cronies

Scott

July 18th, 2011
1:09 am

No holding administrators accountable for money spent, no holding teachers accountable for honest grades, no holding students accountable for learning. Who’s running the asylum?

just watching

July 18th, 2011
1:33 am

Because many of the kids couldn’t READ the science or any other portion of the CRCT.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

July 18th, 2011
1:41 am

Easy.

“Follow the money.”

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

July 18th, 2011
1:44 am

THIS IS NOT A JOKE: Does Chanvellor Davis have bodyguards?

After a principal-friend replaced his school’s AD and football coach, a $300K arson fire was set in the deposed coach’s office. Coicidence?

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

July 18th, 2011
1:47 am

OOPS: Well, the GMSWT and the GHSWT say that spelling is unimportant, anyway.

Two spelling mistakes in one posting. Embarrassing.

“Chancellor” and “coincidence”: that’s much better.

NewMinority

July 18th, 2011
2:17 am

“Every time I would submit detailed orders for chemicals, lab kits and equipment…everytime I would be promised by the department chair and the principal..that the order has been made and it is on the way….I never got anything.
So I had to purchase many things from my own pocket.”

Here is where the teachers have become enablers to the crooks! On this blog, teachers are always telling us that they are always paying for classroom supplies out of their own pockets. Why do you put up with this? If you have ordered supplies, been told they will be ordered, and then have nothing to teach with, COMPLAIN TO THE CENTRAL OFFICE ACCOUNTING DEPT. Ask them why your school doesn’t have the money. If all teachers did this, perhaps less pilfering would go on! All the money must be accounted for. If the department head suddenly comes up short, SOMETHING FISHY IS GOING ON! No teacher should have to pay for school supplies PERIOD! If the money is honestly managed, and supplies are still lacking, then tell the parents they will have to pay more taxes. You think you are being benevolent by sacrificing your paycheck. You are not. You are enabling THIEVES!

Butler9

July 18th, 2011
2:54 am

Sorry, Maureen — it’s just so easy and tempting to get ‘off topic’ here. You’ve provided a wonderful forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions. Anyway …

I wonder what Jimmy Carter’s doing these days. Always seems to be globetrotting for one worthy cause or another. Maybe like me he too has grown sick and tired of seeing what has become of ‘The World’s Next Great City’, and distances himself as much as possible. Can’t blame him. And that’s too bad for Atlanta. The APS could use the kind of smart, ethical leadership that he once brought to the state (and, therefore, the city), and could surely do it again if he was inclined. Carter is widely criticized for his presidency and for some of his efforts at peace-making. But there are good reasons that he was elected to lead the nation. He obviously likes challenges. And the APS is so chock-full of them now it could keep him busy for the rest of his life. Wish somebody would give him a call. (But don’t expect him to answer. He might very well conclude that any contributions on his part would be wasted in a hopeless situation.)

Sad Day

July 18th, 2011
3:55 am

@NewMinoity: Duhhhh!!! (Not disrespectully, but most of you still cannot fathom how profound the situations are at these schools.) I found out the hard way that central office is not the teacher’s friend. (There are few friends there though.) In the schools,there is constantly this indoctrination of being told to work additional “contract hours”(not!) after school for uncompensated tutoring sessions . Teachers’ orders for supplies are always lost and students rarely bring basic supplies to school. I do not only provide supplies, I provide quality supplies.Only the best for my students.Either
provide supplies or have students sit in class disrupting the environment. Fifty prcent of my students never have basic supplies. If we ask the ILS teachers for supplies, she becomes so harsh and demeaning. She wants a day’s notice to provide supplies the students need today. Teachers feel like, “Why Bother?”
I was the Title I contact for my school in another state. We were allocated a certain amount of money(thousands) each year and we would purchase badly needed items. I kept a record of what each teacher ordered, and it would be like a teacher Christmas when we received those resources FOR THE STUDENTS. I never had to supply students with supplies in that state. Parents also provided all the tissue, notebook paper, report covers, posterboard, highlighters, pencils, markers….. We were able to purchase computer software that provided diagnostics and remediation for struggling students. They were provided immediate feedback on computerized assignments. (Compass software).The feds need to conduct their own investigation here in Alanta, Georgia.

Some agency was kind enough to provide the students with computers here at APS, but what good are computers without internet access, printers, or ink? With computers,the kids will have access to the Georgia Online Assessment to practice for CRCT. They would also be able to complete research assignments and class projects.What happened to Shirley Franklin’s Wifi for Atlanta?

In all honesty those teachers who were threatened into cheating had no one to turn to for help.There has been a payout to Georgia Professional Standards, attorneys, superior court judges, businessmen, and GDOL appeal officers. Bought and paid for by Ms. Hall. It is only a suspicion, but something is extremely corrupt and our urban kids are the sacrificial lambs.
If teachers would unite we could be a strong force. Yet most shun those who have been terminated for fear of being terminated themselves. Some stand by and watch the maltreatment of the honest and forthright teachers who make suggestions to strengthen student production. Whatever happened to the transformational leaders whose ethics supersede their desire for self-gratification.?

social studies teacher

July 18th, 2011
6:33 am

Science and social stusdies scores have never counted for AYP. After Christmas many systems have their science and social studies teachers pretty much abandon their objectives and start focusing on math and reading objectives. When teachers express concern, they are told that reading and math CRCT scores are the only ones that matter. As a high school social studies teacher, I am no longer shocked about my students lack of knowledge about social studies.

Write Your Board Members

July 18th, 2011
6:44 am

DeKalb spends 7 million plus a year on Fernbank Science Center and has science test scores as bad as, if not worse, than Atlanta.

We are getting very little benefit from FSC, but is has a powerful group of allies who fight any changes to the status quo.

HS science teacher

July 18th, 2011
7:52 am

@newminority….Are you joking? It would be a teacher’s suicide to go above the local admin and complain. I know there’s some teachers out there that have the stomach for it but I don’t. It takes all I have to work with the kids every day and it comes down to survival…. just spend my own money to get what I need.
Ex aps teacher’s experience was the same as mine. Orders would go in time after time (and orders take MY TIME to put together) then nothing. We would just give up eventually and buy it ourselves including our own paper.
You’re right …if the teachers would just ban together perhaps something could change but most of us are so busy just trying to get through each day it’s just a remote thought. Plus you have to believe something really will change if you take a big chance with your career. What I’ve seen is teachers totally destroy their career trying to fix a broken system. Most of us have neither the energy or drive to take those chances…we’re just too busy trying to help broken kids succeed.

concerned teacher

July 18th, 2011
7:55 am

Some of that was spent on paying APS administrations personnel to present pathetic, non-research based, non-data driven professional development. Presentations that ignored ALL edicts of good teaching, watered down to the point that elementary students would be bored. Professional development that took place at the World Congress Center where there are NO science facilities at all let alone being an incredibly expensive place to rent out. Some of the best professional development by truly accomplished teachers was taken over by this farce. To the detriment of the district one of the most recognized teacher’s accomplishment with teachers went completely ignored and was replaced with watered down drivel. The money spent was to put on a show for someone;s checklist but science teachers worth their weight know all about data and analytical practices and it never DID add up that this was useful. The ones running the professional development actually demonstrated that they didn’t have command of science or rigor at all. It was a total farce and one that would drive away any self respecting science teacher. Money wasted on that ridiculous training instead of providing actually needed supplies and that doesn’t even mention the time taken out of very busy teacher’s preparations for a very hectic year. No rigor at all and it was appalling that GE money went for that.

former morningside parent

July 18th, 2011
8:03 am

I would imagine that science scores didn’t go up much because the emphasis in elementary school is on math and english alone. The principal at Morningside Elementary school even slashed fifth grade science and social studies in half so that the number of students exceeding on the CRCTs that did count for her AYP would get the extra time. The is a principal who gamed the system and hurt students getting all the instruction in science ( and social studies also important) that they were suppose to get. Morningside is one of the stars of the APS system and this is what the principal decided was good education. Her AYP goal was met and the class of 5th graders got shafted. No respect for that kind of an educator and she got a bonus to boot.

Former APS Science Teacher

July 18th, 2011
8:26 am

As a former high school science teacher at APS (just resigned) I can say that this is not a surprise. Not only did we put in numerous orders for supplies, but we did so multiple times well before the start of school. Yet come August there weren’t any supplies. And yes like the other poster said the professional development was a complete joke. Not only did they have us sit in there to do “activities” but we had to sit through a 1 hr session where they talked about lab safety and how every student in APS needed to thoroughly examine the safety handbook and were going to sign a safety contract. That sounds good but they made us turn in the safety manual at the end of the session because they didn’t have enough for us to keep! How am I supposed to go through this with my students if I don’t even get a copy to go through myself.

Their benchmark exams were a complete failure (for us on 4×4 block) because they didn’t come in time and they often didn’t cover the material that we went over. I hope APS gets it together because I hate so many children under served.

Butler9

July 18th, 2011
8:34 am

AJC’s Sunday article describing how Atlanta business leaders ‘invested’ in Beverly Hall mentions that GE’s vice chairman, John Rice, offered Hall advice on managing stress. I can only speculate, of course, about the sources of whatever stress may have plagued Hall. But’s it’s interesting to contrast the nature of the stress suffered by teachers in the APS with that that likely affected Hall.

Teachers felt a sense of hopelessness within a workplace environment in which results ‘by any means necessary’ were demanded, and seemed to feel as though they had little or no support from those who should have been working to help them. Hall, on the other hand, was probably suffering stress from knowledge that her sham had begun to spin out of control. A sense of hopelessless probably set in as the facade of success that she and her cronies had so carefully and cleverly built began to crumble, revealing the dishonesty and corruption on which it was founded.

There are any number of ways of successfully dealing with stress. Fleeing to Hawaii was probably Hall’s latest attempt, in hopes that the stress that afflicts her would be wafted away on balmy tropical breezes. But if she’s really smart (and the jury is still out on that), she’ll come to an understanding that a serious dose of honest self-examination and penance will be required before she can rid herself of the insidious effects of stress.

teacher&mom

July 18th, 2011
8:46 am

The AJC should investigate how the grants and donations to APS were spent over the last decade. APS has been given LOTS of money…more money than any other system in the state and what do they have to show for it?

Don't Understand

July 18th, 2011
8:49 am

Its easy to spend that much and get nothing. There has never been a study that shows any correllation whatsoever between dollars spent and education achievement. Private schools spend FAR less per pupil than their government counterparts and get far better results. The Washinton DC school district spends $12,500 per pupil and has the worst system in the nation. Government run schools don’t work. Shut them all down.

teacher&mom

July 18th, 2011
8:50 am

Give me $5000 dollars to spend on my department and I will personally guarantee results. I submitted two purchase orders for my department this year. I ordered paper towels for the labs and a handful of chemicals. I think the total order was a little over $500 and I was told we may not have the money to purchase those few supplies.

Frustrated Taxpayer

July 18th, 2011
8:56 am

Where did the money go? As Nikole and Former APS science teacher mentioned, much of those funds were squandered by the main office, with pennies trickling down to the classroom.

Step 1: Companies write large checks to school districts, building goodwill in the community. In exchange, they hope to get skilled laborers.

Step 2: Districts like APS use the money to hire highly paid administrators, primarily promoting friends from within. Those administrators have little classroom experience and use the funds to “implement programs that reinforce classroom instruction.”

Step 3: With little classroom experience, administrators hire highly paid consultants who push a one-size-fits-all program that has yielded results in a land far, far away.

Step 4: Administrator cuts huge checks for professional development training at expensive locations like the Georgia World Congress Center, taught by model teacher leaders or the actual consultants. Training continues throughout the year, with little input from teachers on the front lines doing the actual “implementation.”

Step 5: What’s left in the pot each year — after paying the administrator, the consultant, the marketing team that printed lovely information about this glorious new program — may be available for supplies. To pull from this fund, teacher requests must be approved by the principal, the SRT Executive Director, and eventually the administrator, who doesn’t have time to deal with such minute details. She has a lunch appointment with the consultants in an HOUR!

Step 6: Repeat steps 1-5.

The business of education is booming.

teacher&mom

July 18th, 2011
9:07 am

This situation is a great example of how we spend and disperse education money in GA.

Yes, the money is always spent “somewhere”. But, just like APS, very little makes its way to the classroom level to purchase actual materials and supplies. Instead, the decision on how the money is dispersed is another top-down mandate that rarely – if ever – results in positive changes.

teacher&mom

July 18th, 2011
9:09 am

I chuckle ever time I read an article or statement regarding STEM in GA. The call for more science and math teachers is a noble cause. I won’t argue that point. However, what do you think will happen when the whiz kid from GA Tech arrives to classroom to find empty lab shelves, little to no technology, and an overcrowded classroom? Any bets on how long s/he will stick around?

teacher&mom

July 18th, 2011
9:12 am

@frustrated taxpayer: you are 100% correct. Perhaps it is time to take a different approach. Instead of top-down management, lets give the classroom teachers, not administrators or COs, the power to say where and how the funds will be spent.

teacher&mom

July 18th, 2011
9:29 am

for what it is worth….

Read Stephen Krashen’s letter to the editor. Replace the course “Defense Against the Dark Arts” with science and then you’ll understand how you can spend vast amounts of money and not see any returns.

we r b ing n fected

July 18th, 2011
9:30 am

@frustrated taxpayer and teacher&mom
That’s just like asking why Clayton County Public Schools would hire someone to head Human Resouces who is named in the cheating scandal. Demaris Perryman-Garrett former Head of (OIR) Office of Internal Resolution at Atlanta Public Schools. Hire all of your cheating friends.

teacher&mom

July 18th, 2011
9:30 am

Oops…forgot the link :P

http://susanohanian.org/show_letter.php?id=1377

Short and easy read….. I promise.

teacher&mom

July 18th, 2011
9:37 am

@we r b ing n fected: If that is the case, then where are the parents? Look at what happened in the Texas district that hired Augustine. Who stopped that potential train wreck? THE PARENTS!

Heck, you don’t even have to show up for the board meeting. In this day and age, with emails, voice messages, etc., there is no excuse for not contacting your local BoE.

NTLB

July 18th, 2011
9:40 am

If a child cannot READ on level or do MATH on level, he won’t pass the Science CRCT, or the Social Studies CRCT. Spending 22 million dollars on students who can’t read on level to do well in science is futile and irresponsible.

A Conservative Voice

July 18th, 2011
10:04 am

@Butler9

July 18th, 2011
2:54 am
Carter is widely criticized for his presidency and for some of his efforts at peace-making. Wish somebody would give him a call. (But don’t expect him to answer. He might very well conclude that any contributions on his part would be wasted in a hopeless situation.)

Gosh, I hope he didn’t see the above comment…….we don’t need to give him any ideas.

ex aps teacher

July 18th, 2011
10:14 am

New Minority…. I was one of the whistleblowers back in 2005 who put my career and paycheck and my family on the line when I complained to the PSC and APS OIR about cheating at the high school standardised state. I took on the APS machine like David took on Goliath. I was quickly accused of being unethical instead of being the accuser . All this happened with the blessing of APS OIR led by Damaris Perryman Gant and with blessing from Hall and her cronies.
Even the GAPSC could not save me or stand up for me. I was shunned by all my fellow teachers as troublemaker.
Until you really put yourself in the shoes of a teacher with ethics and backbone teaching in an APS school, it is really hard for an outsider to understand the malice, corruption and intimidation that happens in an APS school. Outsiders like Maureen, the mayor, executives of big atlanta business and executives of the bill gates foundation have been fooled by the grandmotherly smile of Beverly Hall and her data driven nonsense for a long time. If do a good search you will find many APS PR machine generated pictures of Beverly Hall and her cronies posing with big replica of millions of dollars of checks donated to APS.
My only friends were MACE/John Trotter and my terrific attorney who helped me prevail over APS.
Ga teachers dont have a real union to help them in situations like this.
My hats off to the AJC investigative reports and the Governor’s office.
I have moved on, received several teaching awards and grants since leaving APS

Competitive

July 18th, 2011
11:17 am

In Gwinnett, Science and Social Studies scores are always lower because there is no requirement to pass those tests OR make passing grades in the class. No accountability, no effort, no learning. the exception is 7th grade, where the students magically perform better on the tests because they are a promotion requirement.

Simple truth: More money does not equal more learning. Also, the comments about students not being able to read the test are accurate. Also, the comment about the lack of elementary science and social studies education is true. Without a doubt, most of that money has gone to lining the pockets of a few, with little or none going to support the students or the effective, ethical teachers.

hardworkingteacher

July 18th, 2011
11:39 am

The rampant cheating in APS has been suspected by teachers in other districts for several years. APS has always received the funding, yet when students from those districts transferred into our district, they were lost! I am sickened that the administrators and involved teachers are pointing fingers and trying to justify their criminal behavior. It’s not the fault of NCLB, lower demographics and disadvantaged populations, or racism. This is the fault of those people who want to continue to ride the gravy train without having to actually work! They knew huge bonuses would line their pockets so cheating was the best way to do this!

Butler9

July 18th, 2011
11:48 am

Yeah, ‘Conservative Voice’, perhaps Carter’s points of view don’t suit everyone (or even most / many … I wouldn’t pretend to know). And he might carry too much ‘baggage’. But despite his reputation to the contrary, he is an able adminstrator (or, at least, was at one time), and there are very few leaders alive today with a proven track record of ethical behavior in positions of great power.

I’m not even sure what role he might play that could contribute effectively to putting the APS back on track. But whatever else you might think about his presidency, he accomplished the main task before him, which was to instill in the American people a renewed sense of confidence in the integrity of the people holding high office in the U.S. And that’s exactly what’s needed in the APS at this time.

It’s easy to forget the pervading distrust of high level government officials during the Watergate years and their immediate aftermath. (And it forever changed my perceptions of government, making me very cynical at a young age.) It crippled the nation so badly that we accomplished virtually nothing useful during that time. Carter and his administration may have bumbled along in most other areas, but I think he gets far too little credit for the rebirth of confidence in the integrity of our leaders, which was the most important thing he promised to do.

hardworkingteacher

July 18th, 2011
11:49 am

Schools that work have teachers and administrators that work! I am fortunate to be apart of a mid-school in the metro area that continues to make AYP year in and year out. A couple of years ago, our school was told by our central office 2 days before pre-planning that we would be receiving 250 students transferring in from failing schools within the district, even if we were overcrowded. Against the odds, those students made tremendous progress through their hard work and that of the faculty and administrators. These students did not want to go back to their failing schools and many students stayed.

Butler9

July 18th, 2011
11:55 am

Yeah, ‘Conservative Voice’, perhaps Carter’s points of view don’t suit everyone (or even most / many … I wouldn’t pretend to know). And he might carry too much ‘baggage’. But despite his reputation to the contrary, he is an able administrator (or, at least, was at one time), and there are very few leaders alive today with a proven track record of ethical behavior in positions of great power.

I’m not even sure what role he might play that could contribute effectively to putting the APS back on track. But whatever else you might think about his presidency, he accomplished the main task before him, which was to instill in the American people a renewed sense of confidence in the integrity of the people holding high office in the U.S. And that’s exactly what’s needed in the APS at this time.

It’s easy to forget the pervading distrust of high level government officials during the Watergate years and their immediate aftermath. (And it forever changed my perceptions of government, making me very cynical at a young age.) It crippled the nation so badly that we accomplished virtually nothing useful during that time. Carter and his administration may have bumbled along in many or most other areas, but I think he gets far too little credit for the rebirth of confidence in the integrity of our leaders, which was the most important thing he was expected to accomplish.

KenFromCalifornia

July 18th, 2011
12:08 pm

the scandal is a RICO-scale criminal enterprise designed to fatten the wallets of everyone who participated.

call the cops.

sandra from nyc

July 18th, 2011
12:45 pm

I just read the full cheating report and all the posts here. What a tragedy for the children of Atlanta. High stakes testing is notorious for leading to cheating. It’s dangerous to put it into place without stringent defenses against corruption.

hardworkingteacher

July 18th, 2011
12:51 pm

to sandra from nyc- high stakes testing is here to stay, none of the other schools in ga had a problem. It’s not about high stakes, its about money. Those involved were given cash incentives for passing scores.

Shocked at this

July 18th, 2011
1:50 pm

@ hardworkingteacher, unfortunately, other schools in GA did have problems with cheating on the CRCT. Atlanta just took the whole cheating issue to a new level. Dougherty Co. now has the GBI there for the same erasure issues as Atlanta. DeKalb, too, had some schools on the wrong-to-right erasure list. At least one principal from there has had his/her certificate revoked.

Atlanta and Dougherty did not complete a satisfactory internal investigation of there erasure issues. That’s why the GBI are involved.

But I agree with your point about high stakes testing being around for some time.

K.D.

July 18th, 2011
2:10 pm

@ hardworkingteacher, none of the other school districts have a problem, yet. But I’ve heard that it’s coming down the pike. But when you have administrators’ and teachers’ jobs depending on whether or not these kids pass these high stakes tests, I’m really not surprised there was cheating going on. It’s a sad situation. As a teacher, I understand the importance of passing the high stakes tests. I can also sympathize with teachers being bullied and threatened to make certain that students pass these tests. Did you know that there is a whole generation of students who don’t care about these tests? Who don’t care about education, period? Changing that mindset from the very beginning will help us educators out a whole lot.

Mo Money

July 18th, 2011
2:14 pm

Those millions probably went to pay a bunch of those $188,000 salaries for “administrators” who can barely speak in public. Keep the fraud alive in APS!!!

veman96054

July 18th, 2011
2:14 pm

I retired from teaching NYC high school in 1989. I was young but had enough.

This “scandal” is sad in that it is not willing to address the real issues of student achievement.

1. No one wants to make those kids behave. Instead they put pressure on the teachers.

2. Yall got millions of dollars and could not get supplies. That is ridiculous. Instead they spend it on workshops and know nothing consultants. They want you to get the kids to sign a lab safety manual but never gave copies. NO ONE HAD A KINKOS ACCOUNT. And I am not saying teachers needed to pay for it.

3. Testing is a dumb ass idea. (Pardon the language). Especially when they are using percentiles to evaluate students. I found out that Stamford adn Terra Nova tests are on school property. HELL YEAH those high scoring schools are cheating.

I think they need to not punish, or give very little punishment, to the teachers and Principals who cheated. This was all Hall’s fault. And she needs to bare all the punishment.

If I were those teachers, I would resign as long as there is no record of the issue. Otherwise, take it to court and let them prove I was the one who cheated.

I hope and pray the teachers, and some administrators, are set free from this issue.

Ole Guy

July 18th, 2011
2:27 pm

I can tell you exactly…that’s EXACTLY…why millions spent on education do not/cannot/will not ever translate into academic results (CRCT/hs/college graduation, etc) worthy of the first class global power we once enjoyed…URGENCY! Education, today, is too damn passive. The educational systems do not INSIST on the meeting of minimum standards. As a rookie second-careerist teacher 15 years ago, I saw it every day. As a Military retread, cast into a fray initiated back in the 60s, I saw it in both Jr Enlisted and a number of younger Officers. The very concept of learning, it seems, has come to be based on “passive absorption”, rather than aggressive pursuit.

We need to re-introduce the concepts of discipline in acquiring knowledge and skills. I know that sounds ole fashioned and antiquated, but it’s the ONLY way.

TheLoneWatchman

July 18th, 2011
3:07 pm

I am neither a supporter nor a defender of Beverly Hall. I agree that investigations of a scale & intensity equal to or exceeding the scale & intensity of the CRCT investigation ought to be undertaken, not only the disposition of grants made to, but also of contracts let out by, APS. That said, however. I am dismayed by by illogical attitudes & outright clueless opinions expressed on this blog, especially by many who should know better. Not every APS student failed the CRCT, not every school failed to meet its AYP target & not every APS teacher or administrator has some degree of culpability for the CRCT scandal. To argue that the results of the CRCT investigation imply that all grant monies were wasted or ill-managed not only is invalid, it is borderline stupidity. Insufficient though the total number may be, many students graduate from APS well prepared for post-secondary endeavors, academic, vocational, or military, & have been well served by the facilities provided them by corporate donors & Atlanta taxpayers. Those other school systems who claim to suffer from not having the same access to funds as APS would be better advised to tout their own advantages than to continue to knock APS’s deficiencies.

Butler9

July 18th, 2011
4:23 pm

I am surprised at my own interest in this story. I’m not proud of the fact, but I’m probably as cynical and apathetic a person as you’ll ever run across (notwithstanding the eight years I served as a mentor in the Coweta County schools while my son attended them). I haven’t voted since 1976 (I voted for Ford, by the way). I think the APS is probably hopelessly lost. The Atlanta City and Fulton County governments have been rotten to the core for as long as I can remember. Our city, state, and country are in decline. It depresses me. Maybe what grabbed my attention was the fact that this story involves adults screwing children on a grand scale. And make no mistake about it — that’s what has happened here. How was this allowed to happen? Have these people no conscience? Children are innocent. It’s the responsibility of each and every adult to protect them. Yet the children of the APS were exploited for personal gain by the very adults whose job it was to help improve their lives. Those with caring, involved parents are lucky to have emerged relatively unscathed. The rest deserve our utmost sympathy and whatever help can be given them.

doh

July 18th, 2011
5:53 pm

ohhh I can answer that, since I teach 8th grade.

1. Kids don’t care about the 8th grade Science and Social Studies CRCT scores or test. And if some students miss the test because they are absent, most schools don’t care if they make it up. But God forbid you miss the math test.

2. The test probably still doesn’t align to the standards. I teach Social Studies, but most of my kids said that most of what was on the test for science didn’t match with what they were taught, what was in their standards, or in their textbooks and assignments. (GEE we had THAT problem 4 years ago didn’t we?)

3. The CRCT test is not an accurate measure of the course. Tell you what…I will give you 400 facts to memorize, then give you test of 60 questions, you must answer 35 right to pass. So of those 400 facts you only need to know 35 of them, but I will play the gottcha game and NOT tell you what facts will be used, and misword the questions to confuse you not actually see what you know.

4. Middle school, sadly, is the first place most of these kids had even had any science. You think its taught in elementary school with any degree? Kids are coming into Middle School with no foundation in science and social studies since it isn’t taught there.

The correct answer:

ALL of the ABOVE