Cheating scandal a serious crisis for Atlanta schools

By most accounts, Atlanta schools Superintendent Beverly Hall runs a very tight ship. She demands results and she produces results.

However, results of a different type now threaten to undermine much of what Hall has accomplished. Strong evidence of widespread, perhaps systematic cheating on state-mandated tests within Atlanta public schools now calls into question not just the effectiveness of the Atlanta system but its basic integrity.

How Hall responds to that evidence will determine both her legacy and her continued ability to lead the district.

Sparked by an earlier AJC investigation that found evidence of cheating on state tests, Gov. Sonny Perdue ordered a probe of all state-mandated tests taken last year by Georgia students in grades 1-8. Every single test was inspected for evidence that wrong answers had been erased and changed to correct answers.

Of course, students often change answers in the course of taking a test. The state’s analysis found that on average, a student might change one or two answers on each test from wrong to right.

However, according to an erasure analysis conducted by CTB-McGraw Hill, the vendor that provides Georgia’s statewide tests, results at several hundred Georgia schools showed evidence of erasures well beyond what you would ordinarily expect. The company estimated the odds of such excessive erasures occurring naturally at one in a thousand.

The analysis also found that at 74 schools statewide, including 43 in Atlanta alone, more than a quarter of the classrooms tested showed evidence of erasures well beyond the ordinary.

At Parks Middle School in Atlanta, for example, almost 90 percent of classrooms tested showed evidence of an abnormal number of answers being changed from wrong to right.
State officials have stressed that the statistical evidence does not constitute proof of cheating in any particular classroom, a point that Hall repeated in a telephone interview Thursday. Smaller class sizes in Atlanta public schools also increase the odds that test results of a particular classroom might have been skewed.

Those are important caveats. Unfortunately, at best they can only mitigate the overall findings. They cannot explain the sheer scale of anomalies found at Atlanta public schools. They cannot explain, to cite just one example, how an average of 27 of 70 answers in one fourth-grade math class were changed from wrong to right.

The evidence that something has gone seriously wrong seems inescapable.

And as a strong supporter of public education, and as a father of two children who thrived in the Atlanta public schools, I do not come to that conclusion lightly.

In the interview Thursday, Hall reiterated her belief that poor, urban students are not fated to fail.

The considerable progress shown in Atlanta public schools over a decade of her leadership is often cited as proof of that fact, and she expressed sincere concern that the accomplishments of Atlanta students might now be tainted.

On the other hand, “cheating is never acceptable,” Hall said, pledging “an independent review of every classroom, every teacher and every principal” where problems might exist
.
Nationwide, the growing emphasis on standardized testing as a means of holding teachers and principals accountable is controversial. Hall has embraced that approach with a passion, using an intensely data-driven approach to demand measurable improvement from principals and teachers alike.

But as a consequence of that high-pressure environment, it now seems almost certain that some employees turned to cheating to produce results they could not achieve by legitimate means.

Until now, the Atlanta Board of Education has given Hall the freedom and support that any good superintendent needs to restructure a stubborn bureaucracy. But to protect both Hall and the district, the board now needs to take a strong leadership role in ensuring an independent, aggressive investigation of these allegations.

This is not merely a case of cheating the system, of misleading bureaucrats. The biggest victims are the students themselves. Their parents were reassured that their children were performing adequately and did not need additional help.

In too many cases, it appears, that simply wasn’t true.

380 comments Add your comment

Outhouse GoKart

February 12th, 2010
7:41 am

“By most accounts, Atlanta schools Superintendent Beverly Hall runs a very tight ship. She demands results and she produces results.”

Would seem the case is different. Here we have a case of adults, adults mind you, that are quite unable to think thru a cheating scam and follow thru on the other end, without getting caught.

This being the case their teaching ability, not to mention their cheating abililty must be called into question.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

February 12th, 2010
7:47 am

Now just imagine for a moment the tone of this blog column if it had been a Repug scandal, just sayin….

Peadawg

February 12th, 2010
7:49 am

The education system in Atlanta is sooo bad, that teachers are now cheating? Geeze. What a wonderful city Atlanta is!!!!!

Bud Wiser

February 12th, 2010
7:50 am

I am shocked.

Bud Wiser

February 12th, 2010
7:51 am

USinUK

February 12th, 2010
7:54 am

geez, you tie school funding to standardized test results and you’re surprised that there’s corruption???

Gale

February 12th, 2010
7:55 am

Whiner, why would you immediately throw this entry to the political court? We all know Georgia schools are the bottom of the coutries schools. It surprises me that parents who can move continue to live here.

Batman and The Boy Wonder

February 12th, 2010
7:55 am

Holy Pinkslip Batman, a cheating scandal in Gotham city.

Thats right Robin, seems our little crime fighters are being cheated out of a quality education by some unorthodox scoundrels.

Right Batman

So Robin how are your foreign language studies proceeding?

Im holding a 3.7 GPA Batman

Thats good to here Robin. NOW contact Commissioner Gordon and tell him we are the way.

Cee Cee Batman.

TO THE BATMOBILE!!

Gale

February 12th, 2010
7:56 am

COUNTRY’s Sorry. I’m going for coffee.

Peadawg

February 12th, 2010
7:56 am

geez, you tie school funding to standardized test results and you’re surprised that there’s corruption???

BINGO!

USinUK

February 12th, 2010
7:57 am

Peadawg – 7:49 – “The analysis also found that at 74 schools statewide”

statewide. not just Atlanta.

Outhouse GoKart

February 12th, 2010
7:59 am

“The analysis also found that at 74 schools statewide, including 43 in Atlanta alone”

Thats 58% for Atlanta. Once again the city of Atlanta excells where most fail. YYYIIIIPPPEEEEEEE!!!

GeeDubya

February 12th, 2010
8:02 am

Is our children learning?

jt

February 12th, 2010
8:03 am

I’m sure the federal government with No Child Left With A Dime will straighten this all out.

With a few billion dollars.

Peadawg

February 12th, 2010
8:04 am

“Is our children learning?”

Judging by the grammar in that sentence, I don’t think they are.

Jay

February 12th, 2010
8:04 am

So Outhouse and others: Explain to the rest of us the clear glee that such stories inspire. Why do they make you so happy?

Inquiring minds want to know…. Why such joy when stories break about MARTA, to cite another example, while stories about much more serious incompetence at the state DOT just inspire a yawn? There’s a definite pattern.

I Report :-) You Whine :-( mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

February 12th, 2010
8:06 am

Gale- Would you like to go out on the limb that the Atlanta public school system is ate up with “bible thumping” Repugs?

Anyone firmly grounded in reality knows that if you subtract the ITP Atlanta test scores from the rest of Georgia, we rank above the national average, just sayin….

Funny, isn’t it, the fake, alternate universe liberals have to cheat just to obtain their failing grades?

And they don’t think they have a problem?

USinUK

February 12th, 2010
8:07 am

“Anyone firmly grounded in reality knows that if you subtract the ITP Atlanta test scores from the rest of Georgia, we rank above the national average, just sayin….”

got a link to back that up?

TaxPayer

February 12th, 2010
8:08 am

Well, the evidence clearly indicates that something, statistically significant, has changed. That measured and confirmed “something”, as you say, is the number of erasures and that change in erasures certainly warrants investigation. We will need to wait and see what the investigation uncovers. Do it for the children.

This does remind me of that school that made the public’s eye via a movie many years back. Edward Olmos was the math teacher and his students excelled on standardized tests and were subsequently subjected to unwarranted scrutiny. Well, it’s a thought.

By the way, is a score greater than 2000 but less than 2100 considered a good score on the SAT and is it statistically different from the scores around the state. Just curious.

professional skeptic

February 12th, 2010
8:09 am

I believe in this case we can apply a lesson learned in Corporate America. Cheaters and fraudsters, by nature, will cheat if they have the motive, if they can rationalize it, and if they believe they have the opportunity to get away with it. In the corporate environment, the best defense against cheating and fraud is a strong internal control system.

I would say that it’s time to implement a similar set of controls over testing in Georgia’s schools. One possible fix would be to put in place third-party proctors to observe the testing and collect the tests immediately afterward. Or, make state tests computer based so that answers are recorded in real time and cannot be changed after the time is up.

@@

February 12th, 2010
8:10 am

Just one more instance of sacrificing our children for personal gain. Government workers’ job security vs our childrens’ future job security.

Disgusting!

Gale

February 12th, 2010
8:11 am

I hope you are wrong, Jay. I hope it is not glee, but gallows humor. I suppose it is no wonder parents want their kids in private schools in GA. The problem is, if we flood the private schools with children of disengaged parents, the problem will just follow the students.

I don’t have a kid in school, but we all have an interest in this problem. Money and corruption are part of the problem. Look at the school boards of the failing schools. Those are the people who are supposed to guide policies. What are they focussing on?

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

February 12th, 2010
8:12 am

Well, you can’t even zap the teachers anymore. We send them bright kids straight from the NASCAR races and they turn around and cheat. Instead of taking their lumps the way we wanted. Not a lunkhead in the bunch we send them. It ain’t even American.

We set this thing up so the teachers would get punished. Somebody’s got to take the fall and it might as well be them. And we put in tests to make sure they got punished when a kid fails. And now these teachers get together and start erasing wrong answers and changing them to right just to make theirselfs look good. What kind of low-down move is that?

Well, looks like we got to put in the Death Penalty for teachers that change answers for kids. That’s the Conservative way of handling things. And we need Life Without Parole for the teachers we can’t prove anything against but we think might could be involved.

It’s time to nip this thing in the bud.

Have a good day everybody.

JDW

February 12th, 2010
8:12 am

Not terribly suprising that given the opportunity, adults will try to cheat the system to make the number. My guess is that this is not limited to GA , but we may have found it first. And as usual some of you want to lay blame at the door of a politcal party. I don’t know where all the 110 schools identifed are located but I am sure that both parties will be equally represented and as usual responsible.

I Report :-) You Whine :-( mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

February 12th, 2010
8:13 am

Bookman- This is a total failure of socialism, a direct result of you liberals dumbing down your captive audience so that you can brainwash them with your hideous left wing political propaganda.

Does that help answer your question?

Granny Godzilla

February 12th, 2010
8:13 am

Holy Crap! Google this topic and the reports of cheating on standardized tests go on and on all over the country.

Nuns who could have qualified for WWE Wrestling gave me a heavy duty disdain for cheaters.

USinUK

February 12th, 2010
8:13 am

TaxPayer – “Edward Olmos was the math teacher” – Stand and Deliver … I loved that movie …

… Dangerous Minds was good … (although, pretty much the same story) …

… Lean on Me, Morgan Freeman rocked the house …

… then, there was Freedom Writers … the weakest of the bunch …

Hollywood does love the story of the little teacher that could …

Jay

February 12th, 2010
8:14 am

Reporter, your statement isn’t even close to true.

But it nonetheless tells us a lot.

Outhouse GoKart

February 12th, 2010
8:14 am

Its sad but funny. The pompous blustering haberdashers strutting around Atlanta city hall in their finery never seem to want to admit there is a problem because they are never wrong. The public knows better.

Its sad in that these little kids are being socially promoted strait into prison.
Its funny in that the adults, involved in this particular case, are unable to face what failures they truly are AND cant even think thru this silly move to its logical conclusion.

However it really matters not because in typical city of Atlanta style the powers that be will bluster some more about untrue allegations, retraining of the teachers, computer errors, witchhunts etc. and again, nothing will get done.

TaxPayer

February 12th, 2010
8:15 am

Why such joy when stories break about MARTA, to cite another example, while stories about much more serious incompetence at the state DOT just inspire a yawn? There’s a definite pattern.

Shhh!. Some of ‘em gits all reverse uppitied when you start talking with such undertones, real or otherwise.

USinUK

February 12th, 2010
8:15 am

@@ – “Just one more instance of sacrificing our children for personal gain. Government workers’ job security vs our childrens’ future job security”

fwiw, my £££ is on trying to maintain school funding, not job security … this sounds far more endemic than any 1 individual teacher or administrator trying to save his/her job …

Gale

February 12th, 2010
8:16 am

Interesting suggestions, professional skeptic. Both suggestions take funds, which are currently in short supply. But independent proctors might work if the kids were taking the test in a largee enough room to decrease the number of proctors needed. Then, as for an election, hand over all the completed tests to a third party to score. Might work.

JDW

February 12th, 2010
8:17 am

I Report :-) You Whine :-( mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

“This is a total failure of socialism, a direct result of you liberals dumbing down your captive audience so that you can brainwash them with your hideous left wing political propaganda”

Are you really this ignorant and uninformed.

washedup

February 12th, 2010
8:17 am

How can incompetence at the DOT be more serious than short-changing our children’s education at government schools? As with anything else that is controlled by government, “funding” is the goal. Don’t worry about quality, just send us more money, for more programs that will work about as well as the ones we tried last year. What a ridiculous statement about a ridiculous system. Thanks a million, John Dewey!

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

February 12th, 2010
8:17 am

Maybe you libs should put a sticker in your text books stating that Atlanta’s passing SAT scores are just a theory subject to further review?

USinUK

February 12th, 2010
8:17 am

OGK – “haberdashers”

you do realize this word refers to people who make and sell clothing, not the people who wear nice suits, don’t you …

Jay

February 12th, 2010
8:17 am

“Socialism?” reporter?

Oh I see. By your reckoning, there’s “socialism” ITP and no socialism OTP, which explains the testing score difference in the two groups.

A difference that doesn’t exist in the first place, of course.

“Socialism” is just a word, a collection of letters that you apply to things you would like to hate but just don’t understand why. “Socialism” gives you that excuse, because you clearly have no idea what the word itself actually means.

USinUK

February 12th, 2010
8:18 am

JDW – “Are you really this ignorant and uninformed”

yes.

this has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

February 12th, 2010
8:19 am

JDW- Would you like to posit any other explanations as to why Atlanta’s children are so stupid?

USinUK

February 12th, 2010
8:19 am

whiner – “Maybe you libs should put a sticker in your text books stating that Atlanta’s passing SAT scores are just a theory subject to further review?”

still waiting for that link from you that shows that Atlanta SAT scores are dragging the rest of the state down …

… and waiting …

… and waiting …

TaxPayer

February 12th, 2010
8:19 am

Reporter, your statement isn’t even close to true.

Well, there’s yet another chapter for the Book of Revelations.

Jay

February 12th, 2010
8:19 am

Nobody said anything about DOT incompetence being worse than the cheating scandal, washed up.

Put in another quarter and try again.

Bob

February 12th, 2010
8:20 am

Can’t we find a reason to blame this on Palin ?

Finn McCool

February 12th, 2010
8:20 am

Something similar happened in NJ a year or so ago.

Maybe we fix the underlying problems with No child Left Behind?

Joey

February 12th, 2010
8:22 am

From Jay’s 8:04: “There’s a definite pattern.”

Jay fails to recognize and acknowledge his “pattern”, and the “pattern” of many who agree with him. While at the same time condemning the “pattern” he percieves of people who disagree with him.

Who among us would have expected that?

JDW

February 12th, 2010
8:22 am

USinUK, thanks for the clarification! Where in UK, I lived in Chiswick for several years?

USinUK

February 12th, 2010
8:22 am

“Can’t we find a reason to blame this on Palin ?”

that’s right … we liberals are the ones who keep bringing up her name …

Outhouse GoKart

February 12th, 2010
8:23 am

Uh ya…meaning they, the haberdashers, probably arent qualified for their jobs.

USinUK

February 12th, 2010
8:24 am

JDW – how funny – I’ve been helping a friend of a friend who is moving here in a few weeks do some research about Chiswick / Hammersmith / Ealing!

I work in London, live down near Reigate. are you a Brit now living in the US or were you an American living in London?

Finn McCool

February 12th, 2010
8:24 am

Oh, i see. Now No Child Left Behind is a Democrat initiative??

What are you wing nuts smoking? I want some!

TaxPayer

February 12th, 2010
8:24 am

Maybe you libs should put a sticker in your text books stating that Atlanta’s passing SAT scores are just a theory subject to further review?

How ’bout providing some evidence to back up your claims, whiney. Something that we can look at and proclaim, “Why that shore Am Special,” perhaps. Come on, give us a treat.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

February 12th, 2010
8:25 am

Oh ok, let’s all pretend that we do not ease our curriculum so that it does not discriminate nor put to much pressure onto the shoulders of our poor and oppressed youngens.

Let’s act as though we teach American history instead of the fake revisionism of the left wing propaganda stooges, you know, the settlers of this great country being nothing more than bloodthirsty pillagers of innocent Indians folks, to name one instance in a cavalcade of them.

How about fake science? CO2, plant food and human byproduct of respiration is a pollutant?

You live libs live on your planet, and meanwhile, back on Earth…..

JDW

February 12th, 2010
8:25 am

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

Atlanta’s children are not “so stupid”. They do live in a state where people like you keep electing representives like ours that spend thier time on completely non-relevant agendas rather than work on serious problems like quality and funding of education.

david wayne osedach

February 12th, 2010
8:26 am

Is this cheating something new? Or has it been going on all along?

Gale

February 12th, 2010
8:26 am

8:17 Jay sharpened his fingers this morning.

Granny Godzilla, “disdain for cheaters.” That is the nut of the problem in my mind. Our society is losing that distain. Instead of sneering at cheaters, we start thinking of it as ‘gaming the system’. It’s the system. We almost admire those who play the system to their advantage and do not get caught. Kids do pick up on that attitude. Why work hard if all you have to do is watch for places to cheat with impunity?

Bob

February 12th, 2010
8:26 am

Jay, I wish you had not brought up the DOT. Does anyone know how much they spent installing the red lights on the entrance ramps ? Another DOT joke, traffic from Peachtree industrial at 285 is backed up all the way to the street. The ramp lights make as much sense as the traffic calming fiasco. If you ask anyone involved you get the answer that “all the other states are doing it.” Fire them all !

JDW

February 12th, 2010
8:26 am

HI USinUK, I was an American in the UK. Lived right off Turnham Green in Chiswick. Got to admit I miss London!

Finn McCool

February 12th, 2010
8:28 am

i don’t know, I Absorb, there’s a lot of dumb people living OTP as well.

Where do you live?

Outhouse GoKart

February 12th, 2010
8:28 am

“Oh, i see. Now No Child Left Behind is a Democrat initiative??”

Its the systems fault!

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

February 12th, 2010
8:28 am

Both Marietta and Cobb school districts scored higher than the state average of 1460 and the national average of 1509. The two systems also increased their scores since last year’s data, with Cobb increasing their average score by 11 and Marietta rising by 54.

You know what I mean?

You libs sit around calling us neanderthals but at least we take care of our children.

USinUK

February 12th, 2010
8:29 am

TaxPayer – “How ’bout providing some evidence to back up your claims, whiney.”

to paraphrase Mike Myer’s scottish character on SNL – “if it’s not in the AmSpec, it’s crrrrrrrrrrap!”

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

February 12th, 2010
8:30 am

Atlanta Public Schools placed last on the list with a score of 1244.

And they had to cheat just to get that, hahahaha.

http://mdjonline.com/view/full_story/3296373/article-Cobb–Marietta-above-average-for-SAT-scores

USinUK

February 12th, 2010
8:31 am

JDW – “Got to admit I miss London” – yeah, I love this city! I’ll have to check out Chiswick – I’ve heard great things about it! I work in the City, so I’m much more familiar with the east end than the west …

Outhouse GoKart

February 12th, 2010
8:32 am

UK…remember the SNL sketch “The Scotch Boutique”? They sold only scotch tape…lol.

JDW

February 12th, 2010
8:33 am

Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

“Oh ok, let’s all pretend that we do not ease our curriculum so that it does not discriminate nor put to much pressure onto the shoulders of our poor and oppressed youngens”

What we need to do is improve and toughen our cirriculum and at the same time give our children the tools they need to succeed. Tools like proper equipment, teachers that are trained and compensated aduquately, remedial language skills if needed, and maybe in some cases even a dash of hope. Maybe if we do that we they grow up they they will actually be able to understand a scientific fact rather than brand things they either don’t understand or like “fake science”.

Gale

February 12th, 2010
8:35 am

JDW, How do we manage to give them a parent that cares about their education? How can we do that?

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

February 12th, 2010
8:36 am

This is all about socialism and personal responsibility, and how you prepare your descendants for their obligations to this enjoined culture of ours, are you a contributor or a parasite, just sayin…

And the results show themselves.

JDW

February 12th, 2010
8:36 am

USinUK, Chiswick was a great choice for me because its halfway between London and Heathrow. Put us together and we could do a great tour. I spent a lot of time in Slough, Windsor, Kensington, Chelsea etc…

Brad Steel

February 12th, 2010
8:37 am

Wasn’t there a chapter in Freakonomics that described a similar standardized-test cheating scandal (committed by the teachers not the students) in the Chicago public schools?

JDW

February 12th, 2010
8:38 am

Gale, you are right that is something we can’t give them. What we can give them is that dash of hope and the opportunity to help themselves. You can’t save them all but you need to get them a path of opportunity.

Joey

February 12th, 2010
8:38 am

The purpose of “on-ramp lights” is to reduce gridlock associated with merging onto the expressways. It would be interesting to know if DOT anticipated the transfer of gridlock to the surface streets and if they considered this justified collateral damage.

Disgusted

February 12th, 2010
8:39 am

Put in a silly one-size-fits-all test and this is what you get.

How about something sensible, like pre- and post-tests administered by impartial administrators rather than by the very teachers who are going to be judged by the results? Then we’d see who is really teaching. But no, people who wouldn’t know education if it bit them in the hind end mandate the same post-test for everybody–never mind that some schools are populated by students with enormous head starts, while others begin with barely literate students.

Tell me the rules and I’ll play your silly game.

USinUK

February 12th, 2010
8:40 am

http://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/GA_09_03_03_01.pdf

interesting breakdown on mean test scores by family income on page 8 of the link … turns out that those in the highest income brackets average better scores than those in the lower brackets by 100+ points for each segment …

so … you think that all that extra money that gets funneled to the Marietta education system makes a difference ???

naaaahhhhhhh ….

Outhouse GoKart

February 12th, 2010
8:40 am

And who is missing from this tragic comedy? The Clayton County school system.

The adults in clayton county school system either are not cheating or have the good sense to be successful. Tsk tsk.

USinUK

February 12th, 2010
8:41 am

OGK – 8:32 – that’s the one!!!

Outhouse GoKart

February 12th, 2010
8:41 am

“interesting breakdown on mean test scores by family income on page 8 of the link … turns out that those in the highest income brackets average”

Ya, its the systems fault.

Jay

February 12th, 2010
8:42 am

Here’s the opening paragraph of the story cited by Reporter, which for some reason he chose not to include:

“MARIETTA – Fulton County Schools tops the list for the highest district SAT scores in metro Atlanta with an average score of 1584 out of a possible 2400.”

Fulton County? Hmmm.

“Other than Fulton County, the Decatur City, Cherokee County and Forsyth County school systems ranked ahead of Cobb.”

Decatur?

You mean the Socialist Republic of Decatur outperformed Cobb and Marietta?

Hmmm.

JDW

February 12th, 2010
8:42 am

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

“And the results show themselves.”

Finally something we agree on!

Thirty years of predominately Republican rule have brought us to this sorry point in history. Not to say that the Democrats are much better because they allowed it to happen. They are at this point the lesser of the two evils. Maybe one day soon we will have an alternative.

Of course I am sure that you feel no need to “take responsibilty” for the actions of your elected officials. Even as you continue to articulate their failed policies.

El Jefe

February 12th, 2010
8:43 am

Why would they allow a school official to grade their own schools tests?

Ah, gee my school will not make the list, I think I will change a few to make sure my bonus is secured.

What kind of lame brain allows a clear conflict of interest to exists? Some basic integrity of school officials.

Sluggo

February 12th, 2010
8:43 am

I clicked over and read the report to see the methodology used to spot the potential cheating. The standards used were very conservative. The schools that were flagged for as potentially serious were REALLY serious. The other shocking thing was that while there were schools across the state where potentially serious issues occurred, there were no school districts where potential cheating was close to being as wide spread as in Atlanta.
The state proposed corrective action which included state monitors in the classroom for the tests this year. Monitored tests with physical controls over the documents will be revealing.
This is a moment for leadership, not coverup or excuses from the superintendent.
Bookman…this is a good column and an important call to fix the problem. Cheating on tests does not help anyone…it hurts the kids.

Outhouse GoKart

February 12th, 2010
8:43 am

I bet cute lil Sasha doesnt have to cheat when she whips Daddy-Obamas hiney in their nightly game of Parcheesi.

Gale

February 12th, 2010
8:43 am

Then I go right back to a return of vocational education, JDW. Too many kids drop out because they do not see a future or job resulting from college. A lot of kids will find hope in the prospect of a livelihood after school.

Granny Godzilla

February 12th, 2010
8:44 am

Educator Cheating on No Child Left Behind Tests
Can We Stop It?

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2006/04/19/32popham.h25.html

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

February 12th, 2010
8:46 am

North Fulton, Bookman.

Spin, spin, spin your alternate reality.

We are talking about the APS system, aren’t we?

Jay

February 12th, 2010
8:46 am

Joey, the answer to your question is that the surface street gridlock occurs almost everywhere they install those lights. They sacrifice the surface streets in the interest of keeping the interstates flowing.

It’s another example of the “demand management” approach to congestion. In effect, they are rationing access to the interstates and discouraging their use in order to keep them flowing. So yes, they were very aware that would happen, even if they might try to deny it.

JDW

February 12th, 2010
8:46 am

Gale, I think that vocational education is a great point and a great idea. Not everyone is cut out for an academic track. At least give them a way to make a living.

Doggone/GA

February 12th, 2010
8:47 am

“The purpose of “on-ramp lights” is to reduce gridlock associated with merging onto the expressways”

Yeah, that’s the purpose…and in areas where there isn’t enough room to have a long merge ramp they have their uses, but here in GA the vast majority of our merge lanes are PLENTY long enough and all the lights will do is make it harder for onramping traffic to make a smooth merge into the highway traffic. Basically, in this area they are useless…and probably dangerous.

Haywood Jablome

February 12th, 2010
8:48 am

Propagation of stupidity, false outrage, and glee found in others’ failures are part and parcel of Palin’s permanent campaign.

This issue is right up Palin’s chute.

USinUK

February 12th, 2010
8:48 am

OGK – “Ya, its the systems fault.”

I think it’s blinkered to look at test results in a vacuum without examining the contributing factors.

the fact is, schools get funding based on property taxes. a higher tax base (such as suburbs like Cobb) means more $$$ for schools. that’s not “blaming the system”, that’s acknowledging the facts.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

February 12th, 2010
8:48 am

What a total disservice to your children, negligence extraordinaire, they have failing test scores and had to cheat to get them.

Houston, you got a problem, duh.

You can’t even admit this much?

I’m sicker than a dog but this thread is worth suffering through, just sayin….

Gale

February 12th, 2010
8:49 am

The lack of vocational schools might be something I’d be willing to lay on the liberals, but I have no good reason to believe that. I just find liberals more willing to insist that college is the best option for everyone. After 30 years, I think we should begin to see that is not the case.

Jay

February 12th, 2010
8:50 am

You don’t think the column frankly documents a very serious problem, Reporter?

TaxPayer

February 12th, 2010
8:50 am

What! Whiner’s true moniker is “I Lie Deceive and Obfuscate”. The shock! Yet another Revelation.

Gale

February 12th, 2010
8:53 am

On the subject of on-ramp lights, I admit to being annoyed when traffic backs up into the side streets. But it did that before too. At least the merge on and off the hiway is safer now where they are opperating.

Brad Steel

February 12th, 2010
8:53 am

But the Cobb County schools did far better than Fulton county schools in the Creationism section of the SAT. So there!

All grown-up US cities use on-ramp lights. It’s good to see Atlanta finally getting out of its arrested childhood.

TaxPayer

February 12th, 2010
8:53 am

What a total disservice to your children, negligence extraordinaire, they have failing test scores and had to cheat to get them.

Back up the claims you toss out so freely, Whiner. You’re pathetic.

Gale

February 12th, 2010
8:53 am

I’m out for now. Play nice.

Jenifer

February 12th, 2010
8:54 am

It’s a crisis not only in Atlanta but all over the country. No Child Left Behind, ah yes!

Is our children learning?

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

February 12th, 2010
8:54 am

Yes, I do, but saying that Decatur and North Fulton county are welfare “states” kinda points to the wrong solutions.

What have I not explained clear enough yet?

Outhouse GoKart

February 12th, 2010
8:54 am

Believe it or not those ramp access lights do keep traffic moving at a faster pace. At first I too was a skeptic, however, the staggered vehicle acccess does seem to be working and it keeps those “line-jumper” at their place in the line.