Did Rhee and Hall consult the same playbook on how to respond to news of cheating?

Michelle Rhee's success in Washington as measured by student scores is now in question.

Michelle Rhee's success in Washington as measured by student scores is now in question.

I have to wonder if all school chiefs follow the same playbook when confronted with catastrophic evidence of cheating in their districts:  Dodge, deny and dismiss.

It did not work for former APS Superintendent Beverly Hall, and it isn’t working for Michelle Rhee, the ex DC chancellor who is now confronting her own Erasure-gate as the result of a well done USA Today investigation.

USA Today’s investigation is similar in scope and findings to the AJC probe in 2008 that first revealed troubling score disparities in Atlanta schools and led to an in-depth statewide review that ultimately confirmed widespread test tampering.

In fact, some of Rhee’s defenses are exactly what Hall offered up to the AJC after its accounts of likely cheating within APS, down to the citing of the district’s own cheating investigation by Caveon.

(I have to note that Hall did sit down with the AJC over the years as the newspaper uncovered more and more evidence of cheating, but she minimized the extent of the problem and never explained how she, as data-driven superintendent, ignored such improbable score gaps.)

A strong New York Times piece criticizes Rhee’s willingness to chat up all sorts of media about her crusade to reform American education, while she rebuffs USA Today reporters who want to quiz her about possible cheating in Washington schools during her three-year tenure there. The Times notes that Rhee crisscrosses the country energetically promoting charter schools and an end to tenure, yet has little to say about whether the gains credited to her in Washington are real.

I would suggest that Rhee sit down with Hall.  I think the two would have a lot to talk about now.

Here is an excerpt from the searing NYT piece:

Ms. Rhee, the chancellor of the Washington public schools from 2007 to 2010, is the national symbol of the data-driven, take-no-prisoners education reform movement.

It’s hard to find a media outlet, big or small, that she hasn’t talked to. She’s been interviewed by Katie Couric, Tom Brokaw and Oprah Winfrey. She’s been featured on a Time magazine cover holding a broom (to sweep away bad teachers). She was one of the stars of the documentary “Waiting for Superman.”

These days, as director of an advocacy group she founded, StudentsFirst, she crisscrosses the country pushing her education politics: she’s for vouchers and charter schools, against tenure, for teachers, but against their unions. Always, she preens for the cameras. Early in her chancellorship, she was trailed for a story by the education correspondent of “PBS NewsHour,” John Merrow. At one point, Ms. Rhee asked if his crew wanted to watch her fire a principal. “We were totally stunned,” Mr. Merrow said.

She let them set up the camera behind the principal and videotape the entire firing. “The principal seemed dazed,” said Mr. Merrow. “I’ve been reporting 35 years and never seen anything like it.” And yet, as voracious as she is for the media spotlight, Ms. Rhee will not talk to USA Today.

At the end of March, three of the paper’s reporters — Marisol Bello, Jack Gillum and Greg Toppo — broke a story about the high rate of erasures and suspiciously high test-score gains at 41 Washington schools while Ms. Rhee was chancellor.

At some schools, they found the odds that so many answers had been changed from wrong to right randomly were 1 in 100 billion. In a fourth-grade class at Stanton Elementary, 97 percent of the erasures were from wrong to right. Districtwide, the average number of erasures for seventh graders was fewer than one per child, but for a seventh-grade class at Noyes Elementary, it was 12.7 per student. At Noyes Elementary in 2008, 84 percent of fourth graders were proficient in math, up from 22 percent in 2007.

Ms. Rhee’s reputation has rested on her schools’ test scores. Suddenly, a USA Today headline was asking, “were the gains real?” In this era of high-pressure testing, Washington has become another in a growing list of cheating scandals that has included Atlanta, Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas.

It took the USA Today reporters a year to finish their three-part series. So many people were afraid to speak that Ms. Bello had to interview dozens to find one willing to be quoted. She knocked on teachers’ doors at 9:30 at night and hunted parents at PTA meetings. She met people in coffee shops where they would not be recognized, and never called or e-mailed sources at their schools.

Hari Sevugan, a spokesman for Ms. Rhee, said the reporters were “provided unprecedented time and access to report out their story,” including many meetings with senior staff members and the chief of data accountability. By last fall, Mr. Sevugan said, district officials’ patience was wearing thin. The deputy press secretary, Satiya Simmons, complained in an e-mail to a colleague, “Jack Gillum isn’t going away quietly, Uggh.”

“Just stop answering his e-mails,” advised Anita Dunn, a consultant who had been the communications director for President Obama. The reporters made a dozen attempts to interview Ms. Rhee, directly and through her public relations representatives. Ms. Bello called Ms. Rhee’s cellphone daily, and finally got her on a Sunday.

“She said she wasn’t going to talk with us,” Ms. Bello recalled. “Her understanding was we were writing about” district schools “and she is no longer chancellor.”

On March 29, the day after the story came out, Ms. Rhee appeared on the PBS program “Tavis Smiley” and attacked USA Today. “Are you suggesting this story is much ado about nothing, that this is lacking integrity, this story in USA Today?” Mr. Smiley asked. “Absolutely,” Ms. Rhee said. “It absolutely lacks credibility.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

69 comments Add your comment

The Phantom

August 22nd, 2011
11:50 am

“…during her three-tenure there.”

Maureen, I’ve come to expect this from another AJC blogger (hello Rodney Ho), but not from you. I assume that this should be three-year tenure.

Anyway, interesting article. It will be interesting to see who goes to jail first.

Good Mother

August 22nd, 2011
11:51 am

This news makes me so sick to my stomach I’m literally feeling nauseous as I write this.
Rhee’s ought to rot in prison.

There is an upside, I think. All this thievery and cheating and lies has brought the spot light onto education. We need a law for stiff jail time for those “eduphiles” and laws to protect those students harmed.

Maureen Downey

August 22nd, 2011
12:00 pm

@The Phantom, Sorry. I was moving around that descriptor and missed the “year” in my copy, paste frenzy.
I have to note that Rodney is a Princeton grad, and quite brilliant. He sits a few desks away from me, and his interviews are amazing to overhear. He writes a lot for print and his blog so I suspect any errors reflect his speed and his output.

Dr NO aka Mr Sunshine

August 22nd, 2011
12:13 pm

“Absolutely,” Ms. Rhee said. “It absolutely lacks credibility.”

I absolutely agree. Michelle Rhee did nothing wrong.

Double Zero Eight

August 22nd, 2011
12:42 pm

Cheating is rampant countrywide. This is just
the tip of the iceberg.

America “can’t handle the truth”.


August 22nd, 2011
1:03 pm

Rhee’s (presumably uncoached) response was almost identical to Hall’s:

- Don’t insult our hardworking teachers and students by assuming that they can’t make sudden humongous increases in scores (merely because of flimsy evidence of erasure rates that are 4 standard deviations from the mean)!

- High numbers of erasures just means that our students are super-diligent!

- We taught our students test-taking strategies, including reviewing their work!

- Students might have gotten off by one question for a bunch of questions, and then gone back and corrected them all, leading to a long line of wrong-to-right erasures!

- We interviewed the alleged cheaters and none of them admitted cheating!

- John Fremer of Caveon Security agrees that cheating hasn’t been proven!

- Hey you flat earthers, don’t insult our hardworking teachers and students (and superintendent) by assuming that they can’t make sudden humongous increases in scores!

(Unfortunately, USA Today seems to have changed some document numbers in their document set, so I can no longer easily find direct support for every single one of these points; I wrote the above, posted as a comment on a prior Get Schooled blog post, while looking at USA Today’s articles and documents and they’re all accurate representations of the comments of Rhee and the investigation report she’s relying upon. Many of these points can be found here: http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2011-03-29-dcschools29_ST_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip (Rhee: “It isn’t surprising … that the enemies of school reform once again are trying to argue that the Earth is flat and that there is no way test scores could have improved … unless someone cheated.”; Rhee: USA TODAY’s investigation into test scores “is an insult to the dedicated teachers and schoolchildren who worked hard to improve their academic achievement levels”; Rhee: “there are many reasons for erasures, and the presence of erasures does not mean someone cheated. In fact, it can mean that our students are being more diligent about their work.”; Fremer of Caveon Security, in the investigation report on which Rhee was apparently willing to stake the education of DC students, and her career, “said teachers gave plausible explanations for why erasures could be so high, including test-taking strategies where students were given as much time as they needed and ‘were strongly encouraged to review their work,’ which could lead to changing answers. Students also might have ‘mis-gridded’ their answer sheets and then corrected them.’ ” Some other points of similarity are in the USA Today online documents, esp Caveon’s report, and some may be in a television interview Rhee did just after the scandal broke. … I trust I don’t need to point readers of this blog to Hall’s similar comments, since they are still ringing in our ears.)

Good Mother

August 22nd, 2011
1:22 pm

What I don’t find plausible is that if a child “mis-gridded” their answers, meaning they skipped a line and then had to go back and erase all the answers and fill in the bubbles again — what I find so hard to believe is that they were coincidentally incorrect when they “misgridded” and were correct when they “gridded”.

Something’s fishy and it stinks.


August 22nd, 2011
1:27 pm

I have relayed this story before and it fits once again.
Returning from the West Coast I sat with a gentleman from one of the major testing companies. At the time, he said what was being reported in Atlanta is no better or worse than many other places in the US. In his opinion cheating is rampant, from coast to coast. I am not the least surprised by this story, and that is the saddest coment of all.


August 22nd, 2011
1:30 pm

And yet people in positions of power (our legislature/Governor) are still giving credence to this woman. If you look at ANY of these people with these incredible gains, you will find the same thing–cheating, lying, and a willingness to suspend belief on the part of those who KNOW BETTER!

She should be laughed into some deep, dark hole, after any money she got on the basis of these lies is recouped.


August 22nd, 2011
1:32 pm

Perhaps those who were unfairly fired because of her can get financial redress through the courts as well.

Tech '10

August 22nd, 2011
1:45 pm

[...] Originally Posted by aries4118 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/22/ed…ted=1&_r=1&hpw Interesting comparison to the Atlanta Cheating Scandal in the last part of the article. The silver-lining for Atlanta/Georgia: We should be proud that our state conducted a thorough, professional, and comprehensive investigation. Did Rhee and Hall consult the same playbook on how to respond to news of cheating? | Get Schooled [...]

teacher in waiting

August 22nd, 2011
1:59 pm

Read something today that might be something of interest to many of the bloggers., The “Speak up for Education” reported that Arnie Duncan is doing a town-hall virtual meeting on August 24 at 1:30pm EST. He is accepting questions via twitter. Here is the article;

The Department of Education announced today that Secretary Arne Duncan will participate in the first-ever #AskArne Twitter Town Hall on August 24, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. EDT. Veteran education journalist John Merrow will moderate the town hall that will also be broadcast live on ED’s ustream channel.

This article would be the basis to ask him to justify his willingness to jump on the reform bandwagon (led by the hugely discredited Rhee et al) without any research proving it’s effectiveness.

Maureen Downey

August 22nd, 2011
2:11 pm

@teacher in waiting: Here is the US DOE info on that event:

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will hold a Twitter Town Hall, focusing on “Education and the Economy: Investing in Our Future,” on Wednesday, August 24 at 1:30 p.m. John Merrow will moderate the question and answer session that will be broadcast live on the Department’s ustream channel. Participants can send questions before the Town Hall by using the hashtag #AskArne. An archived version of the Town Hall will be available after the event.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

“Education and the Economy: Investing in Our Future,” Twitter Town Hall

1:30-2 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, Aug. 24

The Town Hall will be broadcast live at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/education-department. Participants can send questions to #AskArne via Twitter any time before the Town Hall

Truth Be Told

August 22nd, 2011
2:14 pm

Maureen, I am pleased to read that you mentioned “data driven” superintendent. As a former APS central office employee, I can attest that Hall’s outer office walls were completely covered with graphs indicating each school’s overall and grade level performance. She took excessive pride in being data driven, regularly expressing how deeply she “mined” the data for any signs of underperformance. We heard her say many times that she would “except no excuses” from a principal for not delivering solid growth at each grade level. Dr. Hall’s favorite saying was, “either you’re on the bus, or I’m putting you off.”


August 22nd, 2011
2:26 pm

GM wrote: “what I find so hard to believe is that [a child] was coincidentally incorrect when she ‘misgridded’ and was correct when she ‘gridded”. ”

Well, it would make sense that if you got off by one line and then realized that and went back and fixed it, you’d have a string of wrong-to-right answer changes (exactly how long that string would be before the occasional right-to-right change intervened depends on how the makers designed the test). But what IS kind of implausible is that one group of kids would somehow get off by one line, or correct such a mistake, so much more often than another group of kids. Is it possible? I suppose so. For example, if one group of kids was repeatedly drilled that they must check, say, every 10 answers, in order to make sure they hadn’t gotten off by a line, and another group wasn’t so taught, the first group might have more wrong-to-right answer changes of that sort. But it does seem fishy. You can’t just assert “our students are taught to correct their errors” or whatever, if there’s no reason to believe that “your” students are taught that MORE THAN OTHERS ARE. And when you see strange data sets like this, it does suggest further inquiry is necessary. But what both Rhee and Hall did was just assert that “our students did a good job”, and then, when pressed, assert “our students did an especially good job” … and then act as though that were the end of the matter. And apparently Caveon Consulting more or less puts is blessing on its clients’ wish in this regard.

Since all this data is out there anyway, there would presumably be a way to determine (I think fairly easily) the likelihood that any given string of WTR erasures was the result of getting off by one line, and to determine as well whether one data set had more of this type of WTR erasures than another data set. So, for example, if the right answers were something like this:

1. A
2. B
3. C
4. D
5. E

then the student’s pre-erasure test would look like this:

1. B
2. C
3. D
4. E
5. etc.

and her post-erasure test would look something like this:

1. A
2. B
3. C
4. D
5. E

(with some variation for actual errors not caused by the line-skipping)

If you saw a student’s test that looked like that, then it would in fact be very implausible that the student hadn’t gotten off by a line (and then corrected it … or I suppose a teacher could have corrected it, but either way the error was getting off by a line to begin with).

With large numbers of tests, it probably wouldn’t be that hard to determine the likelihood that students in one group had more WTR erasures because they were actually doing a better job of correcting “mis-gridding” than students in another group.

A couple of years ago, if a superintendent or principal or teacher claimed her students were taught test-taking techniques different from those in other districts, schools, or classes, then this is what I would have recommended doing, to put any doubts to rest. Indeed, there is a LOT more data analysis that could be done on the kinds of data that the CRCT maker apparently has for Georgia students. You can go read the chapter in Freakonomics for all kinds of data they looked at to determine whether teachers were cheating, and it goes way beyond erasures or WTR erasures, encompassing stuff like whether students typically get easy questions wrong while getting harder questions right, what happens to individual students year to year, etc.

Now, though, I just think: wow, that’s another way for companies that manufacture the test (and charge for it), and now do the test cheating erasure analyses (and charge for it), to do yet more data analysis (and charge for it). So I don’t know if that’s what we really want.


August 22nd, 2011
2:40 pm

In my fairly significant testing experience, students do not tend to get off-number that much. And when they do, it is kids who are immature, poorly visioned, or in a hurry–few of which will go back and change answers. They tend to shrug their shoulders and just go on. As an excuse, that one rates a FAIL.

Grady couselor

August 22nd, 2011
2:48 pm

The research overwhelmingly confirms that our nation’s disadvantaged students, those without a social infrastructure conducive to learning, will not (few exceptions) show “dramatic learning leaps”.

The types of ghetto learning programs (systemic reform imitative) brought to our schools by Hall are based on rote learning or memorization techniques. In other words, inauthentic learning, not premised on relevant experiences that allow students to make a viable connection. A viable connection allows one to attach an experience to other experiences, greatly increasing the odds of retention and a desire for further exploration.

One must ask why would an “educational leader” insist on foisting such programs on our most vulnerable children. Why was she so determined, what was her real motive? Certainly not quality learning opportunities!


August 22nd, 2011
3:04 pm

Rhee has built her reputation around a “take no prisoners” attitude and the use of the word “sucks.” She deserves a dose of her own medicine. Could not happen to a “nicer” person. She deserves every ounce of scrutiny that comes her way…..


August 22nd, 2011
3:09 pm

You can take low IQ kids and expect them to compete with the innately brighter kids.

APS and Washington, DC schools have a high percentage of kids with less ability as students.


August 22nd, 2011
3:09 pm

Why have a Twitter town hall in middle of school day when many teachers can’t participate (access or time issues)? Any ideas?


August 22nd, 2011
3:11 pm

I think I have a post stuck in the filter. I used one of Rhee’s favorite words….s*ck :)

To Teacher and Mom

August 22nd, 2011
3:32 pm

Teacher and mom who writes “Why have a Twitter town hall in middle of school day when many teachers can’t participate (access or time issues)? Any ideas?”

I hear ya. I’m singing your song. Why would we also have PTA meetings during the school day when parents are at work?


August 22nd, 2011
3:40 pm

The age old aphorism comes to mind: “Birds of a feather, flock together”

The similarities are astonishing, however I think Superintendent Hall wins by a landslide+++.


August 22nd, 2011
3:56 pm

I bet B Hall and M Rhee met in Joseph Lowerys basement to compare notes. Maybe the Concerned Racist Black Clergy was there too.


August 22nd, 2011
3:59 pm

Hall is 100-% +++ worse, a blood sucker who preys upon defenseless children for loot and fame.

I pray that her consequences serve as example for any other “school chief” who might come to the Atlanta area schools with such a self serving scheme.
What a sad experince for our kids and taxpayers.

Art Thomas

August 22nd, 2011
4:18 pm

Interesting that these 2 minority common education thieves would never have even had their jobs except for the color of their skin. These types will continue to flourish in the race to erase what our society achieved prior to 1964.


August 22nd, 2011
4:21 pm

Spontaneous evidence is accumulating that Americans are the dumbest creatures on the face of this planet.

After the riot called The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the recent debt ceiling meltdown there is little basis on which to support the fundamental intellectual gravitas of the American people.

However, there is one bewildering reality that brings home that common sense is a luxury in this country, and it is the fact that local school systems all over the country keep trotting out and bring to rock star legend the same incompetent, corrupt, arrogant, and ineffective school superintendents from one school system to the next- with the same biases, the same incompetence, the same bankrupt ideas, the same explanations for their short comings- and expecting different results in their systems.

Truth does not respect shame.


August 22nd, 2011
4:31 pm

@ Truth Be Told – Dr. Hall’s favorite saying was, “either you’re on the bus, or I’m putting you off.”

Hall & Augustine regularly used this same language in front of principals. Inex essence as principals, we we’re being given a directive..deliver or be fired. In other words, don’t dare let test scores reflect a need for truly effective remedial programs.

I am so happy to see the AJC and the GBI investigators have exposed the tactics used by Hall & Augustine. Severe damage was done to thousands of underserving students.

Our classroom bullies have excellent role models!

Recently retired (33 yrs.) APS principal


August 22nd, 2011
4:35 pm

@ART Thomas: By “achieved” do you mean lynchings, KKK, separate toilets, water canons and police dogs. if this is what you call achieved then you are just fronting that you understand that word.

Red Herring

August 22nd, 2011
4:43 pm

this is typical duck and cover for maureen and crew. let’s protect those who are guilty of cheating by seeking to tarnish those who want to change the status quo. instead of seeking improvement for education it becomes class warfare. the administration in public schools have become both over paid and far too many of them as well. the money needs to go to state and local governments and get the federal education system out of the way (end it would be nice). Let’s run public schools with the same amount of administration and money as good private schools are being run. That would include our state colleges where administration is milking the tax and lottery dollars spent on education totally dry. Our money needs to go to smaller administration— more good teachers/professors— very small if any federal oversight. Keep the tax money at home and run the schools and colleges by state and local supervision. We don’t need county high school superintendents making more than the POTUS nor do we need principals, asst principals, etc making almost as much as the Governor of the state….. education is a black hole and needs to managed by people who can achieve true success. I rode by a private school in mid-ga a few weeks ago–students, parents, teachers were all working on the grounds (cutting grass, weed eating, painting, sweeping)— their school was really shaping up and is now very pretty—- no tax dollars spent. if you asked the teachers and parents of public school kids to contribute in that fashion they would revolt. therein lies the solution to education—the parents first should care enough to be a part of their child’s education—not expect taxpayers without kids to pay for their childrens educations and not expect teachers to raise their children for them— if you can’t pay for your kids and you don’t want to raise them—don’t have them.—secondly the teachers should care enough to go the extra mile. all those apples tags on cars going to work at 830 and 9am and at the grocery store or the mall during the middle of the day tell the story…. what say maureen?? your readers can see for themselves if they will simply pay attention. eyes wide open.


August 22nd, 2011
4:45 pm

Beverly Hall is known as “Fats in her Jamaican hometown.

I sure hope “Fats” goes to jail for the lying and cover-up she orchestrated.

Children V. Dogs

August 22nd, 2011
4:55 pm

I must repeat:

Given the thousands of students over the past twelve who have been robbed of a promising future by not getting proper help because false test score indicated that they were “;proficient ” – no sentence is too stiff. Hall and her gaggle of lieutenants have perpetrated a crime against generations of our harmless children.

Heck, Michael Vick went jail for abusing dogs. Lets see if our justice system values children over dogs.


August 22nd, 2011
5:09 pm

Atlanta’s black leadership organizations recognized early on what was occurring and rightfully distanced themselves from the horrendous nature of this mess. Hall’s brazenness in systematically denying underserved children by cultivating and then covering up an atmosphere that could only breed cheating is despicable. Over the years thousands of children were denied tutoring and other special help because they had outstanding test score gains.
Shame on this woman and may she rot in jail. I doubt seriously if she will go to jail after hearing about her high falutin lawyer!

Chris S

August 22nd, 2011
5:25 pm

Looking past the obvious abuses, can we not get agreement on proper procedures for the next round of testing? Proctoring, securing documents, etc.? Is this on the table, or are we still vulnerable? Does APS or any other local district have to wait for the state to require this, or, for that matter, does Georgia have to wait for the federal gov’t to mandate it?

what do we expect?

August 22nd, 2011
6:12 pm

high stakes testing is looking more and more like high stakes anything: if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t tryin’. the most intelligent, capable graduates of public schools wouldn’t even consider teaching. we’re left with average to below average students who may have hearts in the right places but not the intellect to truly steer the next crop of best and brightest. what can administrators do with this bunch of well-meaning but slightly intellectually challenged instructors? pressure them to the point that their shallow reasoning skills overpower both their ethics and common sense, of course. i am a teacher and i assure you if i had a different skill set there is no way in heck i would be teaching in a public school. i love students and appreciate the positive interactions i have with them, but the job is just cluttered with garbage generated by the common knowledge that most teachers are overworked and underequipped to go along with their lack of intellectual ability.

TSA on the way to second base

August 22nd, 2011
7:40 pm

The GA legislature and GA governor held a personal meeting with Rhee to discuss implanting microchips….. thats how good our GA politicans are… lol

“data driven” is just the newest buzz word for give me money and I will fix it



August 22nd, 2011
7:50 pm

Superintendent Hall has an identical twin.

This all has to do bragging rights and greed. The APS board (especially those who were there during Hall’s reign) should step down.

Stupid says as Stupid does

August 22nd, 2011
7:58 pm

Response to Twin:

I wouldn’t be suprised if our BoE tried to court McRhee into coming to Atlanta. Believe me, they are stupid enough to become entrapped again. Considering the lost learning opportunities for children and the millions of dollars that have been squandered, our school district makes one of the most compelling case in favor of vouchers.

**Ka Pow**

August 22nd, 2011
8:08 pm

**Nothing better than catching fat rat who cheats, steals & lies**.

How did she get away with it for so long, perhaps so many were desparate for a quick fix.

high school teacher

August 22nd, 2011
9:50 pm

I really hate it when educrats start advocacy groups with names like “StudentsFirst.” Of course they’re first. It’s a slap in the face to all teachers, good and bad, when one assumes that we don’t put students first already. Yes, I choose to teach because of the summers off and the great pay; it has nothing to do with the students… Rhee really ticks me off…


August 22nd, 2011
9:59 pm

These terrible people have denied children quality learning environments by purchasing pre-packaged “magic” learning programs. I read in this section on Saturday, that the people who sell these programs pay superintendents to speak to other superintendents about how their programs raise test scores. The superintendents become ruthless to keep the doors of the gold mine open. This, even without scratching below the surface, appears to be organized, coordinated criminal activity.

Instead our teachers need to be supported in an ongoing pursuit of developing new, more meaningful ways to teach the basics. Students must be able to competently read, write and compute.

Vet - POW '68-'71

August 22nd, 2011
11:13 pm

What happened to caliber of superintendents over the years. Not to long ago supeintendents were considered among the community’s most honorable. I am confident that we have honest, dedicated indiviuals capable of leading by example. Certainly, our society has not degenerated to the level of dishonesty displayed by these two ladies.

Hall & Rhee are a shameful disgrace to a profession that is increasingly losing respect.

Dr. John Trotter

August 22nd, 2011
11:15 pm


We discussed Michelle Rhee at length in November of 2010. Maureen posed a question about Rhee being a possible new superintendent of Atlanta. On this particular thread, I panned this idea, calling Rhee a disaster in D. C., a slaher, and someone who makes Beverly Hall look like a sweet Aunt Bee. Pryor to this, I have been calling her a educational fake and hypocrite. This latest discoveries from the investigations of USA Today don’t surprise me one bit. I have always thought that Michelle Rhee was a phony, and I did not hesitate to say so publicly.

Sharon Pitts must Go

August 23rd, 2011
7:08 am

At least Hall, Augustine, Myzeck are now Gone from APS…SHARON PITTS MUST GO…she is still being paid by us taxpayers

quantivious's mama

August 23rd, 2011
9:49 am

“Truth Be Told , August 22nd, 2011 , 2:14 pm She took excessive pride in being data driven, regularly expressing how deeply she “mined” the data for any signs of underperformance. We heard her say many times that she would “except no excuses” from a principal for… I TRULY HOPE SHE DID NOT SAY ‘EXCEPT NO EXCUSES’ AND I EVEN MORESO TRULY HOPE YOU ARE NOT A TEACHER.

Harper-Archer mother

August 23rd, 2011
11:27 am

Teaching to the test is all teachers do all day. They will get fired if they get caught teaching anything else. Principals are afraid too. Education is sick!

I hope Hall & Rhee rot in hell for the damage they have done to children.


August 23rd, 2011
12:42 pm

It’s easy to cheat on these test without being caught. 1)Tell students if they don’t know the answer or are unsure of an answer skip it. 2) Teacher fills in the correct answer later. TaDa!!! 98% of students pass the language arts portion of the test. I suspect this is happening a lot. When you have time compare the scores of the Far North Georgia Counties to Cobb and Gwinnett. They doing a lot of learning up there in those hollows. LMAO

Art Thomas

August 23rd, 2011
12:54 pm

Ramzad Prior to 1964 the USA did have a mostly homogenous population with 93% Western European Demographics. With massive birth rates which brought the black race up to its current 50,000,000 … Massive illegal alien birth rates and flooding into our country also beginning around1964 the Hispanic race totals about 60,000,000. We now have a permanent underclass of 50-100 million which will never escape the poverty grind further pulling the country down. Combine this with globalization, job creation in former third world countries leaving our middle class destitute and without jobs for the next generation ,ineffective political leadership and hopeless waste of revenue resources, we now have a bankrupt and morally broken country which allows disgusting leaders like the subject of this Education blog to have flourished. Look at Ga 570,000 children under 18 live in poverty , The disgrace of Atlanta Education , the worst category for Ga ranking us one of most overbuilt , uneducated and illiterate states in the entire USA with a diminishing per capita income increased crime , a 4th or 5th place ranking in illigal aliens habitation … the list goes on and on…

Yes Rashad I do think the best days of the USA are now behind us. When I was told by a black administrator that if “I was a black woman I would be hired immediately to teach … I realized the USA had gone full circle and our downward spiral was accelerating the the final resolution ANARCHY.


August 23rd, 2011
3:43 pm

It’ so obvious that these two superintendents are ruining education for thousands of students solely for their personal gain. This is a tragic commentary for those responsible for hiring quality candidates.