Atlanta’s grades on ‘Nation’s Report Card’ at odds with CRCT cheating scandal

Marshall S. Smith is a former under-secretary in the U. S. Department of Education. Nominated by President Bill Clinton, he served from 1993 to 2000.

Prior to his appointment as Under Secretary, Smith was a professor of education and Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. Previously, he was an associate professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education and a professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he also served as the Director of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. Smith earned both a master’s (1963) and a doctoral (1970) degree in measurement and statistics from the Harvard Graduate School of Education

In this guest column, he discusses an oddity of the APS cheating scandal: The system was showing notable progress on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which is known as the Nation’s Report Card. It wasn’t that Atlanta was leading the nation, but its progress was significant.

When we have discussed this in the past, skeptics contend that there was likely cheating in Atlanta or skewed sampling, but NAEP stands by the Atlanta scores. (To see the AJC’s take on this question, read this PolitiFact Georgia column.)

If  we accept Smith’s contention that the scores were genuine, what was happening in Atlanta?

In the indictments of 35 educators two weeks ago, the Fulton DA says monetary rewards and job security led educators to cheat on the CRCT. But neither was at stake with NAEP as the scores are not used to judge school systems or educators. Nor are the scores sent home to parents, most of whom who have no idea what NAEP is or what it does. So, there is no apparent motive for APS to cheat.

It’s an interesting issue.

By Marshall S. Smith

Charges that adults in the Atlanta school system systematically altered student answers on Georgia’s annual high-stakes tests have made front pages nationwide. It’s not a new story: federal and state high pressure accountability based on narrow quantitative measures, with bonuses for some and pink slips for others, has had the unintended effect of leading some educators across the country (in Chicago, New York City, Washington DC, and Texas, among others) to allegedly fix test results.

Atlanta is the most famous example because of the intensity of the investigation and the number of indictments, reaching from teachers and principals to former Superintendent Beverly Hall. The indicted in Atlanta deserve their day in court. If they are guilty, they deserve to be appropriately penalized.

But there was something else going on in Atlanta during Hall’s tenure, which appears at odds with the picture of Atlanta painted by the investigators and the media. Atlanta’s scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the Nation’s Report Card also rose very substantially between 2003 and 2011, when Hall was school chief.

Others have pointed to Atlanta’s gains on NAEP but failed to point out how extraordinary they were and did not ask how Atlanta gained so much while other districts did not.

The NAEP assessments, which are overseen by the federal government and carefully designed and administered by independent contractors, provide a valuable way to compare achievement across time and among states and districts.

Shortly after the original news of the Atlanta scandal broke the federal government made its own investigation of whether the NAEP scores from Atlanta were valid. They found that there was no evidence of cheating. Because of the careful procedures used by independent contractors who oversee the administration and transportation of the assessments it would be practically impossible for teachers and principals to alter the students work on these tests.

Students in Atlanta and nine other urban districts, New York, LA, Boston, DC, Chicago, Cleveland and Houston among them, took the NEAP Mathematics and Reading assessments at grades 4 and 8 in 2003 and then every two years until 2011, the period All 50 states also took the NAEP each of those years.

Atlanta students improved more on the 4th and 8th Reading Assessments than the students in every one of the other nine districts from 2003 to 2011. They also gained more than every one of the 50 states. In Mathematics, Atlanta’s fourth graders improved more than seven of the nine districts and more than or equal to the gains of 48 states. Eighth-grade Atlanta gains easily topped the list of all nine districts and all 50 states.

How big are the gains?

In reading in grade four, Atlanta youngsters gained 15 points, considerably more than a grade level; in grade eight, they gained 13 points. In fourth-grade math, Atlanta students gained 12 points, a little over a grade level, and in eighth grade 22 points, almost two grade levels.

Atlanta’s gains exceeded those of Georgia in every comparison. In 8th grade, Atlanta’s gains exceeded Georgia’s by almost a grade level in reading (9 points) and well over a grade level in math (14 points). Eighth grade gains are an important measure of the cumulative effect of 8 years of schooling and of students’ readiness for high school. The 8th grade reading gains for other districts were well below Atlanta’s gains of 13 points — for example, NYC gained two points, Boston three , DC school system minus 2, Cleveland zero, Chicago five.

Atlanta still has a long way to go especially. But these gains from 2003 to 2011 are substantial.

What was going on in Atlanta during these years? Clearly, the students in 2011 knew more than their predecessors. Moreover, they must have been motivated to do as well as they did on the NAEP, a test that is not consequential for them.

If the reason for the NAEP gains was the federal and state high stakes testing and accountability, why didn’t all of the districts and states succeed as well as Atlanta? Or, maybe the reason is that Atlanta has a high poverty rate and had more to gain? But Atlanta’s poverty rate is about the same as many of the districts that gained less on the NAEP.

Research on effective districts finds that key factors in explaining success include strong leadership, a professional culture, intensive training, clear and challenging goals, a quality curriculum, a respectful relationship among administrators, teachers and students, and an understanding that gains that continuously accumulate over time are more lasting than “big bang” gains.

Continuous improvement is the pattern of Atlanta’s NAEP gains from 2003-2011. The American Association of School Superintendents  national award to Hall in 2009 used as criteria the quality of leadership, communication, professionalism and community involvement. AASA did not base its decision solely on test scores.

Contrast that with the view of one of the investigators as quoted in the press, “under Dr. Hall’s leadership there was a single-minded purpose and that is to cheat.”

Yet. the children in Atlanta school district achieved the largest gains in the country on an independent assessment during the same period of time. What’s happening here? The investigators were only after evidence of cheating. Perhaps a broader investigation would yield a better understanding of what was going on.

–From Maureen Downey for the AJC Get Schooled blog

114 comments Add your comment

concernedmom30329

April 14th, 2013
8:26 am

Maureen,

Do you have access to the demographics of what students took the NAEP over that time? Comparing 2003 to 2011, the demographic changes in APS were not subtle. First, there were 2000 fewer students in 2011 than 2003. (A reduction of about 4 percent). This reduction is probably related to the demolish of all that public housing.
Second, the percentage of minority students decreased from 93 percent to 88 percent during that time. Perhaps most significantly though, in the 4th grade when the NAEP is administered, the percentage of minority students decreased from 92 percent to 80 percent.
I have always wondered what role these shifts in demographics have played in the achievement measured by the NAEP.

Anonymous in DeKalb

April 14th, 2013
8:27 am

Gee, wouldn’t the cheaters behind the phony CRCT scores … not want them to stand out unusually from other test results? Wouldn’t they have therefore “encouraged” the same behavior on the NAEP?

Presumably Superintendent Beverly Hall was familiar with the NAEP.

Catlady

April 14th, 2013
8:30 am

Well, I have only opinion, but the two first times NAEP has come to my school in the last 10 years it seemed the student selection was “odd”. I asked about the choice of students the time before this year, and was told they over sampled sped on,purpose. Now, that sounds like the local officials can direct the sampling. Didn’t ask this time.

Catlady

April 14th, 2013
8:32 am

Should say ” the first of two times”

Title1 Educator

April 14th, 2013
9:31 am

Thank you, concernedmom30329! My first thought when reading the title of this op-ed was that yet another talking head with little knowledge of the specifics of Atlanta’s demographic shifts is weighing in using questionable info. This so-called improvement matches the timeline of when Atlanta’s poorest and least educated population started shifting out of the city and into the counties as public housing projects were closed. This demographic shift was something that B.Hall’s administration studied and discussed internally and externally with business leaders. Charting data with demographics was their mania.

Also, as Catlady suggests, the selection of students that I saw during my time teaching in APS was not random; it was solely composed of the gifted and high achieving students. Because NAEP doesn’t test every student or even every school in a state and its protocol is less than transparent, it can hardly carry the weight of a state-administered test like the CRCT or a norm-referenced test like ITBS. NAEP seems to be used solely to create press releases with speculative conclusions like this column.

Centrist

April 14th, 2013
9:42 am

Marshall S. Smith could have written a single sentence to sum up his his conclusion: “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”.

Astropig

April 14th, 2013
9:59 am

Statistics are like political prisoners – Torture them enough and they will confess to anything…

Beverly Fraud

April 14th, 2013
10:05 am

Marshall S. please don’t show up here unless you want your metaphorical buttocks handed to you.

Let’s just apply a little logic and common sense shall we?

The test that all the focus was put on, APS failed to make legitimate gains, but the test APS put none of the focus on they made miracle gains?

Seriously Marshall, this makes sense to you?

Bottom line AASS you look as completely stupid as Herb Garrett for not rescinding the award; is Marshall in any way, shape or form connected to AASS because this looks like for all the world an apologist piece?

Beverly Fraud

April 14th, 2013
10:17 am

Astropig do you still stand behind your assertion that SACS would do nothing to help cover up cheating in APS now that you have been shown (according to this very paper) that indeed Mark Elgart worked behind the scenes after the cheating scandal broke to reinstall a board chairman who actively conspired with Beverly Hall to hide evidence of cheating?

Or are you going to add the AJC to the list of so-called “conspiracy theorists” who are just out to get SACS?

jerry eads

April 14th, 2013
10:20 am

Having run another state’s testing program for a few years and hence having been responsible for coordinating that state’s NAEP participation, my take is that IT’S JUST ABOUT IMPOSSIBLE to “cheat” on NAEP. The NAEP folk watch pretty closely. That’s not to say it couldn’t be done, but it would take some really determined people making a very concerted effort. I think it unlikely that a certain district’s leadership was sufficiently capable to pull it off.

In contrast, it’s relatively simple to manipulate outcomes on state minimum competency testing. It’s even simpler to do it stupidly and get caught. As we know, thanks to the AJC work, it has been quite common across the country for a long time. As long as we maintain our naive and shortsighted punitive test-based approach to school accountability, it will continue. Guaranteed. The ONLY way we’ll stop it is to develop sane policy that treats teachers as professionals creating citizens and not indentured servants making widgets.

So how could a district cheat on state low-bid minimum competency tests and still show growth on a well-made test that measures all students like NAEP? Simple. Some people were cheating, most were doing their job in spite of the district’s grossly incompetent leadership.

Beverly Fraud

April 14th, 2013
10:24 am

What was going on in Atlanta during these years?

Umm…Marshall, it case you hadn’t heard it was widespread, systemic cheating and a culture dedicated to manipulating data.

But you want us to believe instead, something wonderful was happening here in concurrently with this that lead to the “largest gains” of those tested?

Marshall, do you think we are completely stupid? Not on this blog LOL. Just who exactly are you trying to convince?

Beverly Fraud

April 14th, 2013
10:28 am

@Jerry if you manipulate the pool of students who can be chosen, you don’t need to cheat to show “gains” do you?

What sounds like the most logical explanation; a corporate culture known to be completely ineffective made “gains” on a test they didn’t care about (while completely blowing the tests they did care about) or some combination of demographic change combined with a manipulation of the rosters?

Beverly Fraud

April 14th, 2013
10:32 am

@Jerry as Politifact pointed out:

“But the federal review focused on whether APS followed standard procedures — not whether the rosters were accurate. To comply with privacy policies, NAEP administrators routinely destroy the rosters schools send them, Goldstein said. Therefore, we think it may be impossible to check whether APS sent accurate lists.”

Again, if you can manipulate the roster, you don’t need to manipulate the tests…

Private Citizen is a serial bore

April 14th, 2013
10:38 am

@Puerile Citizen will soon arrive to endlessly demonstrate why he’s ignored in real life and therefore desperate for attention.

But bootney — weren’t you the original blog bore? And aren’t Puerile, Mountain Man and Beverly Fraud just channeling you?

Or are several of you just Ron L blogging from the afterlife?

Digger

April 14th, 2013
10:43 am

You can convince educators of anything.

Beverly Fraud

April 14th, 2013
10:47 am

Not true Digger but unethical people in education can try to convince a gullible public of anything.

Marshall S. Smith = Knows he’s lying

living in an outdated ed system

April 14th, 2013
10:54 am

I think we have exhausted the APS issue. I can’t even put energy into commenting on this letter. Can we move onto other education topics that are critical to Georgia’s education reform efforts?

Dr. John Trotter

April 14th, 2013
10:54 am

“But there was something else going on in Atlanta during Hall’s tenure, which appears at odds with the picture of Atlanta painted by the investigators and the media. Atlanta’s scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the Nation’s Report Card also rose very substantially between 2003 and 2011, when Hall was school chief.”

The question that you ask is: Who took the test? Did all of Atlanta’s school children take the same test and at the same time? Or, were certain students selected (as I often heard) to take the test which would definitely skew the scores? Was there a change in economic demographics during this time period?

What are we comparing the scores to? The scores of the 2011 children will definitely be higher than the 2003 children because by 2011 there were no more housing projects located in the Atlanta Public Schools district. All of the housing project, by this 2011, had been closed. This would definitely make a difference in test scores, despite the protestations of the social do-gooders. Economic poor students do not score as high as more advantaged children. This is a fact.

Yes, there was indeed “something else going on in Atlanta during Hall’s tenure.” A substantial number of the poor children residing in the projects moved to Clayton County, South Fulton, and South Cobb via housing vouchers. The Buckhead parents were given near autonomy at schools like Sarah Smith Elementary and Morris Brandon Elementary so that they kept their children in the public schools in the elementary schools. (See if the same higher schools maintained in the public high schools after these kids started attending the private schools of Westminster, Lovett, and Marist. I don’t think so.)

Yes, these are the intervening variables: (1) More poor children left the school system entirely; (2) APS was in all probability very selective about who took the test; and (3) More wealthy children stayed in the public school system during the elementary years during this period of time (2003 through 2011). Note: There is a one-to-to correlation with wealth and test scores. Granted that there are exceptions to this rule, but they only prove the rule.

Dr. John Trotter

April 14th, 2013
10:56 am

@ liviing: I am with you on this. Face the facts, folks: APS enaged in massive systematic cheating on the CRCT (Creating Results through Cheating on Tests).

Beverly Fraud

April 14th, 2013
10:58 am

I think we have exhausted the APS issue.

@Living it’s not an “APS issue.” It’s a liars issue; it’s an issue of giving forums, and political and policy power to people who routinely lie and not having enough people holding them accountable for their lies.

Beverly Fraud

April 14th, 2013
11:03 am

What we have @living is a complete and total lack of honest on both sides of the political aisle.

We have supposed “conservatives” such as the National Review trying to convince fellow conservatives that Common Core (and its unprecedented reach into local control of education) is a good thing, but dishonestly failing to disclose the people writing the article are paid by Bill Gates.

Let’s not even get started on the liberals…

Beverly Fraud

April 14th, 2013
11:07 am

From Dr. T.

Economic poor students do not score as high as more advantaged children. This is a fact.

@Disagree Dr. T. We know it’s strictly the teacher not the environment, which is why we have NOT spent BILLIONS fighting a war on poverty in the last 50 years.

Oops…nevermind.

Dr. John Trotter

April 14th, 2013
11:15 am

Rather than suffer though another round of minutia about the undeniable massive and systematic cheating which took place for years in Atlanta under the terroristic reign of Beverly Hall, I think that I would prefer being called epithets like “nutburger” by astropig. That was much more fun! Ha!

The cheating was so ubiquitous and massive that it quit shocking folks. It was the Big Lie. I remember riding down one of the roads in Atlanta almost ten years ago and commenting to Mr. Haynes (who was considerably younger and less experienced back then): “You see that school right there? Well, its test scores went up big time last year. You know they raised these scores?” Mr. Haynes responded: “No. How?” I retorted: “They cheated like h*ll!” We just laughed. It was sad, but it was so pervasive in Atlanta, and now we have Marshall Smith, a political appointee, now suggesting that because of some skewed (yes, I believe “skewed” for the reasons that I outlined above) scores on NAEP that maybe the cheating on the CRCT did not really take place. I guess that this is the point of his article today.

living in an outdated ed system

April 14th, 2013
11:19 am

@Beverly – the issue has already reverberated across the entire public education system of this country. The WSJ had a big story on this in yesterday’s issue. I will disagree with you regarding your past posts. This is, plain and simple, about what happens when you let monopolies continue to harness their power. It’s about a system that has been broken for decades. You all want local control, and what you get is incompetency across the board. What has Bill Gates done that is so wrong? He has spent BILLIONS trying to offer new research to help reform public education. Some of it may work, some may not, but the bottom line is that no one has the courage to rebuild public education in this state or anywhere in our country. Accountability is critical to the reform efforts, but overemphasis on standardized tests and teaching to the test is not a long-term solution.

When Georgia has the ability to provide every child with access to digital technology and 21st century learning tools, including project based learning, then maybe it’ll have a chance to raise its graduation rates and achievement levels from 46th out of 50 states.

Shall I continue???

Dr. John Trotter

April 14th, 2013
11:19 am

@ Bev: I should have stated, “Economically disadvantaged students…” Just typing too fast. I got your point, though. But, always keep it simple for me. Remember that astropig says that I am just a “nutburger.” Ha!

Beverly Fraud

April 14th, 2013
11:24 am

@living I am perfectly content to dismantle the public education system as it stands now.

If you want to know what Bill Gates has done wrong, look at some objections to Common Core. Data mining a child’s religious preference and entering it into a database that parents have no control of? What the h3ll does that have to do with educating a child?

Beverly Fraud

April 14th, 2013
11:26 am

Dr. T. these people don’t even get that they don’t get it. They want the federal government to be the “nanny state” (spending BILLIONS) yet then turn around and say it’s the “teacher” that matters most.

Or…they do get it and don’t mind lying about it

bootney farnsworth

April 14th, 2013
11:27 am

@ beverly

what you have to accept is most people are more than happy with widespread, institutionalized dishonesty – provided it supports their POV.

they days of character mattering (is this a word) are long gone.

Beverly Fraud

April 14th, 2013
11:30 am

@living, look into Linda Darling-Hammond, fully supported by Gates and see how she is all too content to redistribute your wealth to meet her political ends.

Supported by Bill Gates…

Look at some of the people behind Common Core who want a single world wide curriculum to meet their own political ends.

If you think in any way shape, or form that Bill Gates is your savior for “local control” you better do some research…quickly.

living in an outdated ed system

April 14th, 2013
11:37 am

What’s wrong with the Common Core? Why do we need 50 states to have 50 different curriculum standards?? And the stuff about InBloom Gates’ new initiative, have been overblown. What is wrong with putting data in the cloud if the protections are in place? And who’s talking about data mining a child’s religious preference? These are same privacy issues that the “outside” world has been addressing for years. But because of the walled garden, anachronistic approach to public education, they’re just tackling them now!

Dr. John Trotter

April 14th, 2013
11:42 am

@ living: I see that former legislator Dan Weber who apparently did more than anyone, from my understanding, to get the Constitutional Amendment passed for the Charter School Commission, just set up a Charter School Foundation with the Charter School System superintendents like Robert Avossa on his board. He’s asking for extra money for his charter students…and, by the way, he’s asking for $10,000.00 each month for his own pockets. And I am a little surprised that Casey Cagle is going along with this scheme. It sort of reminds me of the very heinous scheme that the old Bourbon Democrats had set up in the 1870s here in Georgia. It too was very profitable for the politically-connected. It was by far more evil and heinous than this charter school scheme. It was called “convict leasing.” My great, great grandfather was the first Georgian to expose this scheme and practice as he chaired the House Penitentiary Committee. Through all of the controversy and in-fighting that Rep. Robert Alston’s expose of this system caused (in the newspapers throughout the country), he was murdered in the Georgia House of Representatives on March 11, 1879.

So, my friend, is this how you break up the public school monopoly? By giving a few select politicians the power to set up their own charter school monopoly with State monies? My biggest problem with charter school concept is that it is really an attempt to segregate students…not so much based on race (though this happens too), but based on economic advantage. Yeah, yeah…we have the Drew Charter School that we can always point to as being in a poorer section of town (although East Lake – once owned by Robert Alston, by the way – isn’t really poor anymore…and many public school teachers take their drop their children off at Drew). What I prefer is to clean up the public schools, establish and maintain strong, consistent, and fair discipline in the regular public schools so that all children can learn.

cris

April 14th, 2013
11:43 am

@Maureen – just read this “letter of resolution” in Wash Post – would be a great follow up to last week’s letter of resignation
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/04/11/teacher-why-i-wont-quit-despite-inane-reform/

Anonymous in DeKalb

April 14th, 2013
11:50 am

@ Trotter:

Your unrivaled talent at self-promotion at times overshadows even your demagoguing skills, which perhaps account for Astropig’s labeling you a “nutburger.”

Other pejoratives would fit equally well. And yet, you do often seem well-informed. Too bad wise readers must remain uncomfortable relying on your conclusions …

living in an outdated ed system

April 14th, 2013
11:52 am

Dr. Trotter, your posts are too long for this blog and we will disagree nearly 100% of the time on public education reform. You have your point of view, and I have mine. You are entitled to your perspective which is fundamentally different from mine.

I disagree with you 100% on your point of view on charter schools and diluting monopoly power. Please read “Cheating Our Kids: How Politics and Greed Ruin Education” by Joe Williams, and then get back to me.

Lets not start bashing Drew Charter, which is one of the bright spots in the APS system. Politics has polluted the reform efforts, but you or anyone should not be supporting monopoly power and making the local school board the sole authorizer of any school for that matter.

RCB

April 14th, 2013
11:53 am

Having spent most of his career at Stanford, Harvard and UW-Madison, Mr. Smith has not exactly surrounded himself with the demographics we have to deal with in Atlanta.

Dr. John Trotter

April 14th, 2013
12:05 pm

@ lving: I see that you did not want to comment on the Dan Weber issue. Are you part of this scheme? My comments are always too long for those who disagree with my arguments. You know, they sometimes disagree with my arguments but, like you, rarely do they try to refute them dialectically. Just comments like “nutburger.” Now this was a classic counter-argument. Nutburger. I am looking to be a Super Delux Nutburger

Why, A. D., I’ll just take that as a back-handed compliment. If you can get through my off-putting confidence, then you might learn a thing or two by what I say, heh? Fair enough.

Chris Murphy

April 14th, 2013
12:06 pm

The piece only mentions percentage gains, not the scores where they started in ‘03 and where they ended up in ‘11. The system did make gains- but it damn sure should have given the amount of money poured into it. That the gains were didn’t amount to much can be viewed in APS’s graduation rate, which moved from about abysmal to just north of morbid.

Dr. John Trotter

April 14th, 2013
12:16 pm

@ living: By definition, charter schools segregate. Not all children have the same opportunities to attend. There are several not-so-subtle ways to discriminate against the child who does not have a wealthy or a get-up-and-go parent at home. Parent interviews, for example. Transportation might be another quick example. I am really sorry that I offend you charter school parents. I really am. But, you are using public monies to segregate your children from other children. It’s OK if you want to use your money to move to a neighborhood which will do the same kind of segregating but on an economic basis…or use your own money to send your kids to private academies and later to Woodward and Westminster. No problem. But, using the tax monies to be able to segregate your children is just not right, and I don’t care what amendment passed. The Dred Scott decision (1857) and the Plessey v. Ferguson decision (1895) of the U. S. Supreme Court were terrible decisions. They were wrong decisions, though they had the imprimatur of the U. S. Supreme Court behind them.

What's Best for Kids?

April 14th, 2013
12:24 pm

@Dr. Trotter,
Elaborate more on Dr. Avossa. I do not trust the man…at…all.

What's Best for Kids?

April 14th, 2013
12:26 pm

Anyone in Fulton County notice that Avossa hires really young, really blonde women to surround himself?

Beverly Fraud

April 14th, 2013
12:36 pm

@living you want “local” contral. HA HA HA HA. Do you have any idea what Bill Gates and Common Core have in store.

Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Adviser of Pearson (who will make millions if not billions off Common Core)

“We want data about how people are doing. We want every child on the agenda,” he says. At minute 6:05 (above) he specifies that “every child” means every “global citizen.”

Data mining of your child, fed into a global data base? This is your idea of “local control”?

http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/top-ten-scariest-people-in-education-reform-7-sir-michael-barber-cea-pearson/

Beverly Fraud

April 14th, 2013
12:42 pm

What’s best, I’d tell you about Avossa, but you won’t believe it. He recently tried to secure funds to let Spence Rogers do (at $4000 a day) training in Fulton.

Spence Rogers talks about “effective leadership” in his trainings. And who is on the first page of his website, reference as the epitome of “effective leadership”

Chairman Mao

That’s right, What’s best, Avossa tried to get funds to bring an “education expert” to Fulton who extols the leadership virtues of Chairman Mao!

Invisible Serf noticed this; I myself thought it was so preposterous I had to look it up for myself…first page, in plain view, Chairman Mao the “effective” leader.

You feel warm and fuzzy about the Common Core yet?

Beverly Fraud

April 14th, 2013
12:47 pm

What is wrong with putting data in the cloud if the protections are in place?

@living, you are saying that you are perfectly fine with the federal government stripping federal privacy protections with the end goal of entering your child’s data into a global data base?

You’re ok with Common Core trainers such as Spence Rogers who extol Chairman Mao as an effective leader?

Really?

Beverly Fraud

April 14th, 2013
12:51 pm

@living, I strongly suggest you educate yourself here as a quote from Sir Michael Barber, one of the main driving forces behind Common Core.

When the BBC interviewer accused Sir Barber of leading Pearson to take over nations’ sovereign educational systems, Barber said, in defense, “I worked for government. I love government. I think government is a really important, a big part of the solution.”

Still feeling warm and fuzzy about Common Core?

Dr. John Trotter

April 14th, 2013
12:51 pm

@ What’s best: The other day, I wrote an article on Avossa and his latest antics with the Fulton Board of Education.

He’s a young Broadie who, in my opinion, apparently will do just about anything that the Captitalists-Turned-Educational-Experts want him to do in order to climb the corporate educational ladder.

http://www.georgiateachersspeakout.com

Beverly Fraud

April 14th, 2013
1:01 pm

@living I hope you are checking out some of the information shared, rather than beating a quick and hasty retreat

You may thing the education monopoly is horrible (I don’t disagree) But if you think Common Core is going to address it, you (and millions of other Americans) are in for a rude awakening.

The evidence is there; are people ready to accept that Bill Gates and his billions are not quite as benign as they have been led to believe in the realm of education?

bootney farnsworth

April 14th, 2013
1:01 pm

@ Dr. John
you must be even more dead on here than I first thought, considering the snark patrol of late.

What's Best for Kids?

April 14th, 2013
1:06 pm

I know about the board changes; not absolutely against them, especially the fact that all central office employees are “at will” employees now. Ninety days for a new teacher also seems reasonable. The other things, not so much.
I think that someone might want to investigate the hiring and firing practices in Fulton, too. “Been in the classroom less than three years? Come on! Be an assistant principal! Better yet, come run a school.”

bootney farnsworth

April 14th, 2013
1:07 pm

just love the civility the ajc feels appropriate in its living room

living in an outdated ed system

April 14th, 2013
1:07 pm

@Beverly you are the master at distorting the facts. I have educated myself just fine on the Common Core – I know the folks who work in the Council for Chief State School Officers. The problem is NOT the common core. The problem is that we teach to the test, we do not adequately train our teachers, and our system is a bastion of the 20th century and has not embraced innovation the way the “outside world” has. That is NOT what this blog post was about. All I said was that it’s time to move onto other topics, because as long as we continue to wallow in the APS and Dekalb mess, we will continue to ignore what needs to be done to actually give our children the skills they need to be successful in life.

Dr. Trotter, if our public schools as they currently exist are not educating minority students, then we need to give them other school options. Charter schools are not segregating students, but having a portfolio approach to public education would be a step in the right direction.