APS scandal contradicts Hall’s message of accountability

NOTE: This post has been updated as of 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

“We can’t yet say that there was pervasive cheating,” Atlanta Schools Superintendent told WABE’s Denis O’Hayer in an interview this week.

That statement, and others like it, are stunning, particularly since they come after release of a new report on the cheating scandal, this one commissioned by the district itself. Among other things, the new report puts the odds of a natural explanation for widespread changes in standardized test results in Atlanta schools at roughly one in 10 million.

But rather than accept responsibility, Hall and her supporters direct our attention to the part of the report that clears the superintendent and her staff of involvement.

“The investigative team did not find any data or other evidence, nor were there qualified allegations made, that there was any district-wide or centrally coordinated effort to manipulate the 2009 CRCT scores and outcomes of students in the 58 APS schools,” it concluded.

That means nothing. In effect, it clears Hall of a charge that was never seriously leveled against her in the first place, and it sidesteps the big issues:
How did this happen, and why shouldn’t Hall, as superintendent, be held responsible?

Initially, state officials identified likely cheating in 58 of the Atlanta district’s 84 elementary and middle schools. This week’s report, conducted by a blue-ribbon panel appointed by Atlanta school officials, confirms the large scale of the cheating scandal, even as it strains to reduce the number of schools implicated.

In 12 schools, according to the new report, the cheating problems were “substantially school wide.” A total of 78 individuals — including 30 administrators — have been implicated at those schools. In another 13 schools, cheating problems were allegedly more limited, and 25 employees — eight administrators and 17 educators — are implicated. Six staff at other schools are also suspected.

In effect, the Atlanta report succeeds in slashing the number of schools involved by more than half. The problem is that even if you accept Atlanta’s numbers as valid, the scale remains remarkable. We’re not talking one or two schools or even a handful. We’re talking 25. We’re not talking a dozen employees implicated in altering test results; we’re talking more than 100.

It’s also important to note that while the investigation has focused on 2009, this problem did not erupt out of the blue. The cheating has been going on for years, spreading over time like a virus as personnel were transferred from school to school and as people talked, quietly, about how to game the system. (This year, with close monitoring of test taking and handling, Atlanta scores on the state-mandated CRCT mysteriously fell sharply across the board, even in schools that were “cleared” of cheating.)

So with at least 100 personnel and 25 schools deeply implicated, and many other staff members no doubt aware at some level of what was going on, how is it possible for Hall and others to have been blissfully unaware? Even if you believe her claims of ignorance, as I tend to do, what does it say about district culture that such a broad scandal could go on for so long without the whistle being blown?

Hall’s comments this week answered those questions definitively. As superintendent, she has built her career and reputation on the importance of data and statistics. Now, when that data scream that widespread cheating occurred under her watch, she goes deaf, claiming “we can’t yet say.”
If two sets of analysis by experts can’t convince her, what chance would one or two honest whistle-blowers have had?

While cheating is clearly a major scandal in its own right, it must also be recognized as a symptom of still deeper problems. Hall has made enormous progress during her time as superintendent and deserves many of the accolades she has received. But there have to be reasons that this scandal occurred on such a scale in the Atlanta district and nowhere else.

The problems also go higher than Hall. The defensive response of the Atlanta School Board, including its refusal to accept the report of its own commission, suggests little hunger among a majority of its members to deal with the full implications of the scandal.

Ironically, Hall’s approach to education reform has stressed accountability, which is exactly what she now seeks to escape. By refusing to accept responsibility, she makes an argument for her own replacement.

212 comments Add your comment

Doggone/GA

August 5th, 2010
8:19 am

You want to know “how” this happened…take a link through the Catholic priest scandals.

godless heathen

August 5th, 2010
8:24 am

So Jay’s poorly framed attack on Private schools yesterday was an attempt at a pre-emptive strike.

USinUK

August 5th, 2010
8:26 am

godless – um. it wasn’t “jay’s” attack on for-profit schools, yesterday … it was a GAO report.

maybe if you actually READ the post, you’d realize that.

USinUK

August 5th, 2010
8:30 am

“We’re not talking a dozen employees implicated in altering test results; we’re talking more than 100.

It’s also important to note that while the investigation has focused on 2009, this problem did not erupt out of the blue.”

as long as money is linked to performance, this will be a problem.

what would be interesting to see is if it started with the implementation of NCLB or if it predated it.

joe matarotz

August 5th, 2010
8:30 am

There’s an old Yiddish saying: “The fish stinks from the head down.”

ty webb

August 5th, 2010
8:30 am

the APS…well atleatst they’re not barbizon…right Jay.

Paul

August 5th, 2010
8:33 am

Good morning.

“The overly defensive response of the Atlanta School Board, including its refusal to accept the report of its own commission, suggests there is little hunger among a majority of its members to deal with the full implications of the scandal.”

There’s a picture. Heads in the sand and Kevlar on their backsides.

Meanwhile, kids are being told their learning is acceptable or superior, when in reality, they could be below average or failing. They are the real victims. Sad.

Outhouse GoKart

August 5th, 2010
8:34 am

LOL…bottomline. Atlanta politics and Atlanta employees. APS looks for Clayton County, Fulton County and Atlanta city govt as examples of leadership and this is the result.

Where did Hall receive here doctorate? At the Clark University diploma mill? LOL….This woman is a joke. This investigation is a joke and probably will never be resolved because “they” dont want it resolved.

OH but what about THE CHILDREN…Who cares!! It more important to lie, cheat, steal and retain those $$$. Right Dr *PUKE* Hall?

HERE WE GO

August 5th, 2010
8:34 am

Democrats, Republicans, EVERYONE!! To All 535 voting members of the Legislature; it is now official you are ALL corrupt morons:

The U.S. Post Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.

Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.

Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.

War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to “the poor” and they only want more.

Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.

Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.

The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.

You have FAILED in every “government service” you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars. AND YOU WANT AMERICANS TO BELIEVE YOU CAN BE TRUSTED WITH A GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM? IT’S NOT ABOUT THE NEED FOR GOOD HEALTH CARE, IT’S ABOUT TRUSTING THE GOVERNMENT TO RUN IT.

USinUK

August 5th, 2010
8:35 am

USinUK

August 5th, 2010
8:36 am

here we go … nice cut-n-paste … :roll:

now, go play … the grown-ups are talking …

Outhouse GoKart

August 5th, 2010
8:37 am

Hall and her fellow conspirators are a prime example of why affirmative action should be shelved and why it fails and will continue to fail.

To Hall with the Children.

N-GA

August 5th, 2010
8:38 am

Is there any push to put better controls in place to avoid a repeat of this? Were any of the schools required to re-test? If not, will the students who “benefited” (sarc) from the cheating do worse in subsequent testing?

I believe that standardized testing, properly administered, is a good thing. It helps to overcome GPA inflation and the related promotion of students who would otherwise be held back.

Dave R.

August 5th, 2010
8:39 am

“here we go … nice cut-n-paste”

USinUK, how is that different from about 50% of Bookman’s work on this site in the average week?

Oh, yeah. He’ll sandwich a few of his thoughts at the beginning and end. :)

Outhouse GoKart

August 5th, 2010
8:41 am

Hall and her fellow conspirators may as well take these children, OH NO THE CHILDREN AGAIN, strait to some State or Federal detention center, jail or prison and just toss them over the wall as they drive by in their caddies.

Effectively that is what they are doing anyway. Just in a more caring, civil and irresponsible manner. Im sure they love the Baby-Jesus and alwasy go to church…just aks them.

USinUK

August 5th, 2010
8:42 am

Dave – “USinUK, how is that different from about 50% of Bookman’s work on this site in the average week?”

world of difference between linking to a report / news story and writing your opinion about it and cutting and pasting an asinine meme verbatim.

USinUK

August 5th, 2010
8:43 am

OGK – “why affirmative action should be shelved ”

what on EARTH does this have to do with affirmative action?

Doggone/GA

August 5th, 2010
8:43 am

“I believe that standardized testing, properly administered, is a good thing”

But part of the problem with standardized testing is that it is unfair to children who suffer from “test anxiety.”

I don’t have a problem, per se, with standardized testing…but looking back on my own experience (I took the SAT, not the CRCT) I *do* object to it’s level of importance in grading the students.

I’ve never suffered, seriously, from test anxiety…but I know many people who have, and who do. I would think, if such tests are going to be so important, the part of TEACHING the students would encompass teaching them how to deal with the stress of taking them.

Paul

August 5th, 2010
8:43 am

Hi USinUK

Just across the Irish Sea from you – in Ireland for a couple of weeks.

Thanks for saving that for me. Reminds me of a museum I went through – exhibits of Irish country live in the 19th century. Description said “Let’s not romanticize how difficult life was.”

Outhouse GoKart

August 5th, 2010
8:43 am

Ya…when all else fails just implicate The Baby Jesus into your argument. That should cast off all dispersions.

“I wont do that, I love the Baby Jesus”
“You see Your Honor my client love the Baby Jesus”
“Yes I do see. What a blind fool we all have been…Case dismissed”.

MaJo

August 5th, 2010
8:44 am

So, Jay, yesterday’s article about the lies, etc. used by private schools to lure students is proof that the free market is not the best way to educate, but this article has nothing to do with government’s ability to educate. Right? If private schools were found to be cheating in this fashion, you would be holding it up as an example of the failure of the free market.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

August 5th, 2010
8:44 am

Well, not only can Atlanta teachers not teach, they can’t even cheat right. I mean, if you’re going to cheat, at least do it right and not get caught.

It all makes me mad. Us GA rednecks like to hold people responsible. If somebody dies, somebody’s responsible. If somebody gets hurt, somebody’s responsible. And if our redneck kids don’t learn, it must be the teachers that are responsible. It can’t be us not paying enough taxes or caring about the schools or the kids or anything like that. I mean, we send the kids to school. It’s the teacher’s job to open up the top of their heads and pour the learning in. We got nothing to do with it all. Sort of like you go to WalMart to get the cheapest things and expect the stuff to be real good. And if it ain’t, it’s WalMart’s fault.

Anyhow, seems to me a whole bunch of teachers and muckety-mucks in the schools tried to keep us from holding them responsible. There must be a Death Penalty or a whole bunch of firings for that.

But I guess we can’t expect any better. It is a bunch of Those People, after all. Lie and cheat and steal and do everything but be responsible.

Have a good day everybody.

N-GA

August 5th, 2010
8:44 am

Good morning, Paul!

You might be interested. I purchased a 1998 Quintarelli Amarone and a 1999 Quintarelli Ca Del Merlo. They’re in the cellar “resting” while I decide when and how to debut them. In the meantime one of my local suppliers called me with a stash of 2000 vintage Quintarelli Amarone. I couldn’t resist and bought several. When it rains………

Dave R.

August 5th, 2010
8:45 am

Not only are we raising generations of dunces, they’re cheating generations of dunces. Then we’ll send them off to college and give them degrees in education so they can practice what they learned all those years ago.

And the cycle will continue, as long as you think “repeat-after-me” tests can figure out if a person has learned anything, and tied that to another government handout.

Scout

August 5th, 2010
8:45 am

YAWN

“Off Topic #1″

I heard the judge in that California marriage definition case is gay. Shouldn’t he have recused himself (no pun intended).

In any case, that was just strike one. The citizens of California get two more. You can find a federal judge somewhere who would rule that it’s unconstitutional to feed dog food to a cat. In this case that judge really had to “reach around” for this ruling.

stands for decibels

August 5th, 2010
8:45 am

In a scandal that stinks like a restaurant’s unemptied dumpster left out in the sun for week, one slightly refreshing angle to this:

Whenever I hear an APS story on WABE-FM (90.1 here in Atlanta), including those about the erasure scandal, they always–ALWAYS–note that the radio station is “a service of the Atlanta Public Schools.”

Could you imagine what the “news” would be like if every media outlet had to reveal similarly bleedin’-obvious conflicts of reporting interest as they occurred?

/drive-by

USinUK

August 5th, 2010
8:46 am

Paul – no way! did you have a good time? I hope the weather was good – middle England has been getting a lot of rain over the last couple of weeks, I hope Ireland was a little drier

I like the museum description – (you mean they weren’t all river-dancing in the fields?)

Doggone/GA

August 5th, 2010
8:47 am

“what on EARTH does this have to do with affirmative action?”

USinUK – you’re forgetting the “wingnut” form of “logic,” which seems to go something like this:

Dr. Hall is black (she was born in Jamaica)
black people can’t get ahead on their own merit
THERFORE, she must have gotten where she is solely by virtue of affirmitive action

Lynn43

August 5th, 2010
8:47 am

In order to restore confidence, there needs to be another investigation conducted by “outsiders” with no connection to APS and especially Dr. Hall or, in fact, no connection to Atlanta. There is no way that “higher ups” did not know something was wrong if they were doing their job. Maybe they all need to go, and APS just start all over. Jay, you seem to want to give her credit for something she did not do or correct. Just look at all the “messes” that have been ignored or overlooked. This is not good educational management.

Dave R.

August 5th, 2010
8:47 am

USinUK, I guess it is only asinine if were untrue.

Hmmmmm? ;)

Jason

August 5th, 2010
8:48 am

Many school systems in the state have laid off good teachers. APS has identified a large number of bad teachers. Dump the bad teachers and replace them with the good ones. Sure, not every bad teacher got caught and some of the replacements will surely turn out to be bad but overall, it would improve the quality of teachers and send a clear message to those who are thinking about resorting to cheating.

But it must be said that the low performance of students isn’t 100% the fault of teachers. There are many factors that go into student achievement, many of which are out of the teacher’s control. Resorting to cheating is something that is in their control. NCLB and all the other test focused mandates are terrible and there are negative consequences for those who don’t jump through all the right hoops but those consequences are still less than those of resorting to cheating. Cheating doesn’t help the students, doesn’t help the public see what a mess NCLB is, and doesn’t set a good example.

Fire the cheaters and let’s get real about student achievement.

midtownguy

August 5th, 2010
8:48 am

This is why not a single kid on my street attends an Atlanta Public School. They all go to private. The only reason to enroll your child in the APS is if you can’t afford private tuition. But that is also part of the problem. The parents that care about education and would push for accountability are avoiding APS.

My brother is a Principal at an upstate NY high school. He says “Schools produce what parents demand. Nothing more and nothing less”. As long as parents want annual promotion of their kid and a shot at a Hope Scholarship via inflated grades and test scores that is what will be produced. Beverly Hall figured this out while being driven around town by her personal aide/driver.

Outhouse GoKart

August 5th, 2010
8:48 am

Dave R.

August 5th, 2010
8:45 am

But as long as everyone loves The Baby Jesus and upon activation of the live action camera News Lights they proclaim they love they mama and The Baby Jesus, or jump around screaming and crying and holding prayer services and revival tent meetings and protesting (in the name of The Baby Jesus) its all…ok. Right?

Jay

August 5th, 2010
8:50 am

Midtown guy, both of my kids attended APS schools K-12, and both have done exceedingly well, as have many of their classmates.

Dave R.

August 5th, 2010
8:50 am

OGK, I don’t even know what that means. Sorry.

Jay

August 5th, 2010
8:51 am

Outhouse, do you have something other than racism to offer here?

N-GA

August 5th, 2010
8:51 am

Doggone – While I tend to believe that the problem of test anxiety is overstated (often used as an excuse for lack of preparation), I’ll grant you that it does exist. Those who suffer from it are routinely subjected to testing during the course of the school year in order to complete their coursework. Perhaps there are new techniques which are unknown to me that measure student progress without formal testing. If there are, great. If not, then standard testing is still the only reasonable choice. Well, we could spend the money so that we have a one-to-one ratio of teachers to students….

jewcowboy

August 5th, 2010
8:52 am

USinUK,

“cutting and pasting an asinine meme verbatim”

It’s probably from an email that HERE WE GO has been itching to forward…all that crap like that is…

godless heathen

August 5th, 2010
8:52 am

Jay used the GOA report on the Back of Matchbook Colleges to attempt and shoot down school vouchers. That was not the GOA’s doing.

ty webb

August 5th, 2010
8:53 am

SFD,
so jay would have to put the DNC logo atop of his blog page?

Bud Wiser

August 5th, 2010
8:54 am

And Pelosi is calling Congress back in to send more money to unionized teachers, uh, I mean schools.

Meanwhile on the happy economic side of things, the Obozo team of idiots (Geithner, etc, proclaiming ‘the recession is over, we did it, growth is back’) perhaps overlooked this mornings news about the new filings on unemployment claims ROSE over what was expected, from @450,000 to @ 497,000, week ending July 31. These incompetent fools are approaching territory where waiting till election time to boot them is not fast enough; I am reminded of the original Frankenstein movie, with the town heading for Vic’s place at night, torches raised, ready for some action…. I always liked those old original horror flicks, but I digress.

So Jay, enjoy your little dance in the moonlight, writing about how Obozo supports the cheating teachers, but at least Pelosi will ’save’ their jobs, guaranteeing a good output…..oh wait, we’re talking public schools; Atlanta public schools….ah, the model of education, some real professorial types come out of there indeed.

Doggone/GA

August 5th, 2010
8:54 am

“There is no way that “higher ups” did not know something was wrong if they were doing their job”

There are LOTS of ways they could not have known. Anyone who works in a really big corporation can school you in how to avoid letting your bosses know things…it’s done all the time.

But even without that, there’s the “the secret everyone knows, but you” syndrome and it explains, quite often, how the “higher ups” don’t know things. “The secret everyone knows, but you” comes about by “everyone knows” so everyone around you just assumes YOU know too…and no one bothers to tell you about it.

jewcowboy

August 5th, 2010
8:55 am

Dave R.,

“Then we’ll send them off to college and give them degrees in education so they can practice what they learned all those years ago.”

Just getting them ready for a career on Wall Street….

Doggone/GA

August 5th, 2010
8:59 am

“If not, then standard testing is still the only reasonable choice. Well, we could spend the money so that we have a one-to-one ratio of teachers to students”

For pretty much all students, you are correct…we aren’t going to be able to get around standardized testing. That was not my point. The point is WHY are students not better taught on how to be tested without the anxiety? I take an example from a job I once had. At that job, when I first interview for it…they stressed STRONGLY that if we had evidence of another worker not doing something properly we were EXPECTED to report it. NOT to get the worker in trouble, but so they could be retrained to fix the deficiency. And it was my experience over the 3 years I had that job, that that was EXACTLY what they did. Retrained workers so the job was done correctly in the future.

I’m no child psychologist, but I just don’t see that there is NO way that teaching the students HOW to take test calmly CAN’T be part of the curriculum.

Marie

August 5th, 2010
9:00 am

I have tutored students at one of the APS schools for the past 6 or 7 years and each year the principal crows about how the percentage of students are passing these standardized tests. And when I begin to work with these students I always wondered — HOW?? I have tutored kids in that school who were in the 5th grade who were reading on a 1st grade level. They could not perform basic math or even tell time. While it was understood that we were tutoring underperforming students; I was dumbfounded as to how these students were being passed on from grade to grade without ever grasping basic skills.

I see the same thing as a part-time instructor for an online university; adults attempting to earn a college degree who simply cannot form good sentences.

And now reading this whole test scandal about APS and other GA schools it is become clear that the public education system in this country is broken and will not be fixed by feel good slogans and more dollars. And the problems go much deeper than just the school system itself.

Jay, where are the parents in all of this? If the parent is involved in their child’s education they would understand that their kid is unable to read, perform basic math, or write. Yet they have turned them over to “public educators” and allow them to pass them on — never holding the school, themselves, or the child accountable.

Someone asked if there are better controls to put in place. Yes. They can either make these tests computerized or DO NOT let the teachers who work at the school administer the test if they are using paper and pencil. Pay retired adults who have nothing to gain administer the tests. The student takes the test, seal it within an envelope, hand it to the “retired adult” administering the test.

Dave R.

August 5th, 2010
9:00 am

But Bud Wiser, when you’re the least experienced person in the room, in every room you enter, what kind of results do you think we’d get?

Dave R.

August 5th, 2010
9:01 am

No question, jewcowboy. :)

N-GA

August 5th, 2010
9:02 am

Doggone – We’re in violent agreement! At the earliest levels of education, teachers need to place more emphasis on “how” to learn. This must include how to study, how to take lecture notes, how to take tests (of different types), how to do research, etc.

USinUK

August 5th, 2010
9:03 am

Dave – “broken” … could the original author BE more facile?

Curious Observer

August 5th, 2010
9:03 am

Way back there when I was in the Marine Corps, there was a saying: Show me your silly rules and I’ll play your silly game.

The entire testing mania seems to be the new game, and some principals and perhaps teachers are trying to play it. Nobody stops to think that if the test scores are so miserably low, maybe there’s something inherently wrong with the entire educational process, not just the teaching. But no, a few thousand politicians decided that the problem couldn’t possibly be the educational processes or funding. No, it simply must be poor teaching. The politicians and their nitwit followers needed a scapegoat, and the teachers and their administrations were as good as any other.

And you expect student test scores to shoot up, when many schools are as large and impersonal as university campuses, when students are packed into classrooms like so many sardines, and when parents don’t care enough to see that their children do homework and behave appropriately?

Good luck with that. And don’t assume that private schools are the answer. Some of the most poorly prepared college students I taught were graduates of private schools.

washedup

August 5th, 2010
9:04 am

Marie, how dare you come on here with such sensible ideas? Well done.

fred smith

August 5th, 2010
9:05 am

All of the above aside for a (VERY brief) moment, why do so few ever question the quality and validity of the tests? Do you ever wonder whether these pass rates (THEY DO NOT REPORT SCORES, JUST PASS RATES) tell us anything at all about the quality of teaching or the amount of learning going on? And what focusing solely on passing low quality tests does to the quality of education?

Jay

August 5th, 2010
9:05 am

Marie, I agree with a lot of what you write. Part of the problem is for many of these kids, their parents also can’t read or write very well. The education level of the parent is perhaps the most powerful indicator of educational achievement of the child.

And that’s why schools in Atlanta, and Georgia, have such a hard time making progress. We are attempting to overcome the legacy of generations in which education was held to be of little importance by Georgians from the governor’s office on down.

Paul

August 5th, 2010
9:05 am

N-GA

Good for you! Whatever the debut occasion is, try to not let the wine overshadow the occasion, okay? Maybe a “let’s debut the wine” occasion?

Off topic point of interest – had a brief conversation with General Wesley Clark in the Newark security line. I leaned over and said “good job on the al Jazeera interview.” He said “you saw the al Jazeera interview?” I said yeah, in Ireland. He hadn’t seen it, was interested if his points about Iran’s leadership failures re: nukes and the inappropriateness of the common comparisons to N Korea (and the “Israel has them, why shouldn’t Iran?”) made it past the cutting room. They did. I remarked how it was interesting al Jazeera put through comments that would challenge the thinking of many in their audience. Also appreciated his arguments – they were original. Said he appreciated the feedback – after he gave the interview he asked himself “why did I agree to do al Jazeera?” Told him to keep agreeing – his perspective is a valuable contribution.

N-GA

August 5th, 2010
9:05 am

Marie – Your post reeks of common sense. When I was teaching grad school, I was surprised at the level of writing of many of my students. Some of them I actually encouraged to drop my class.

Dave R.

August 5th, 2010
9:05 am

USinUK, there is a big difference between “facile and “false”. It may be the former, but it certainly is not the latter.

Doggone/GA

August 5th, 2010
9:06 am

N-GA – and I think part of the testing issue might be the simplest of all: just make “testing” a constant part of their school life. If they are “tested” EVERY DAY, then the word loses it’s “sting” and a lot of the anxiety goes away too…because it’s just something that happens, like getting out of bed every morning.

Outhouse GoKart

August 5th, 2010
9:07 am

“OGK, I don’t even know what that means. Sorry.”

LOL.

Sure Dog. Hall didnt know and she will proclaim so while invoking the name of the Baby Jesus.

“Dr Hall what do you make of these allegations?”
“My good man please dont ask me such questions and pontificate to me about such allegations. I was busy holding a prayer meeting for THE CHILDREN and praying to the Baby Jesus for these kids. How DARE YOU attempt to slander my good name. I make more than the VP of the USA so Im a very important person, thanks to The Baby Jesus.”

@@

August 5th, 2010
9:08 am

But the cheating, and the fact that cheating was more or less accepted within large parts of the APS bureaucracy, suggest a profound lack of respect for the superintendent and her methods.

If that’s what you choose to believe, jay. Bottom line? In our school systems, it’s every teacher for themselves. The cheaters and those who turn a blind eye don’t care about the kids or the kids’ futures.

Dedicated teachers are the exception rather than the rule.

USinUK

August 5th, 2010
9:08 am

Dave – when you don’t define what “broken” means (so that it can mean ANYthing), then facile can, in fact, be false.

Normal

August 5th, 2010
9:08 am

USinUK

August 5th, 2010
8:43 am

Maybe his boss is a “Minority”…

Doggone/GA

August 5th, 2010
9:09 am

Marie…in general I liked what you said, except computerized testing would not be the answer. THEY would be the easiest of all to fake…because there would be no “footprint” of changes made. AT LEAST with the written tests, a score can’t be changed without leaving a trace of the changes made.

Jay

August 5th, 2010
9:10 am

@@, apparently you see some contradiction between what I wrote and what you wrote.

Outhouse GoKart

August 5th, 2010
9:11 am

“Maybe his boss is a “Minority”…”

Sometimes I wish I was employed by a sexy black fem…is that what ya mean?

USinUK

August 5th, 2010
9:13 am

OGK – your respect for wimmen is underwhelming

Dave R.

August 5th, 2010
9:13 am

Except, USinUK, the poster didn’t mention “broken”. They used the word “broke”. Now, for the linguistically-challenged (not you :) ), the term “broke” might be a poorly intended word for “broken”. In this case, I believe it is used properly, as in “being out of money”.

Paul

August 5th, 2010
9:13 am

USinUK

Had a fabulous time. Weather was tremendous. Wore a sweater once for show – most of the time it was short sleeves and slacks. The food – ohmygosh… treadmill, here I come.

And the countryside – better than imagined.

Went by a police station in Londonderry. Next day a car bomb went off. Spoke with Republic and N Ireland locals about the politics. It’s still simmering – and has been for a few hundred years (and none of them referred to it as religiously-based, in fact, they criticized media for their shorthand portrayals). Saw ‘The Plough and the Stars at the Abbey Theatre in Belfast – three hours. Audience reaction was something – they are so moved by the early 20-century events for independence.

N-GA

August 5th, 2010
9:14 am

Goggone – That always worked when I was in grade schools (no jokes, please). Many teachers gave a “pop quiz” almost every day. The purpose was to make students realize that they needed to do their homework, but it also certainly helped many address their testing issues.

BTW, many of us quickly realized that we could expect a pop quiz every day when there was no written homework to turn in. The purpose of the pop quiz was to make sure we read the assigned chapter(s)…usually about 5 questions with short answers so the teacher could get on with the day’s lesson.

midtownguy

August 5th, 2010
9:15 am

I don’t doubt that Jay’s and many other kids did and do well is certain APS schools or in Advanced Placement programs within the APS (doesn’t Grady High have an award winning journalism department?). And when I looked a the list of the cheating schools none of them were in affluent neighborhoods.

But when you bring the issue of exactly where the majority of these cheating schools are located you are inviting an accusation of racism so most of us avoid the subject and direct our comments to APS in general. It’s not the students in the AP programs or in the better schools that are the problem here.

N-GA

August 5th, 2010
9:16 am

Doggone – sorry about the typo!

@@

August 5th, 2010
9:16 am

jay, yours was the evasive “nunancy” language that’s so popular among our government reps.

Mine was more direct, leaving no room for doubt.

Outhouse GoKart

August 5th, 2010
9:16 am

Beverly Hall and Accountability…hmmm, would that not be considered an OxyMoron?

Jay

August 5th, 2010
9:16 am

That’s exactly and unfortunately right, Midtown.

Normal

August 5th, 2010
9:17 am

N-GA

August 5th, 2010
8:44 am

Maybe you can help me out. I have a bottle of 1990 Dom still in its green box with the seal unbroken. I’ve been wanting to sell it on EBay but can’t find a good starting price for it. Can you help?

Doggone/GA

August 5th, 2010
9:18 am

N-GA – yes, but a “pop quiz” doesn’t go far enough to take the sting out of being “tested” If students as going to be expected to do well on standardized tests, then they need to be introduced to the format of the test LONG before they take it. Going by my, admittedly, 45 year old memory…the FIRST time I ever took a “color in the bubble” test was the day I took the SAT. It should not have been like that.

Jay

August 5th, 2010
9:18 am

“nunancy,” @@?

jewcowboy

August 5th, 2010
9:19 am

I would ask APS to teach the difference between “lose” and “loose”. That drives me batty!

N-GA

August 5th, 2010
9:19 am

Jay – Some folks only understand something when it’s written in their own words. Then some folks disagree simply because they are……disagreeable.

catlady

August 5th, 2010
9:19 am

In addition, Jay, many teachers believe that this year’s tests were easier. Most schools serving economically disadvantaged kids saw their scores rise.

B. Hall displays the worst kind of racism: that black kids can’t succeed unless you game the system. For that, for the cheating, for the laughable “investigations”, she should be fired.

And all monies paid out to her for the bogus improvements should be recovered, and perhaps she should be prosecuted for theft.

Outhouse GoKart

August 5th, 2010
9:20 am

Doggone/GA

August 5th, 2010
9:18 am

Agreed…one can make any situation as long, drawn-out and as difficult as possible OR The Children either know the material or they dont.

Or is that oversimplification?

Finn McCool

August 5th, 2010
9:21 am

Hate to say I told you so…

Hugely profitable companies that won’t restore the 401(k) match they ditched in 2008.
http://www.slate.com/id/2262740/
The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that many of the hundreds of companies that cut or stopped 401(k) contributions during the crisis, and that had pledged to resume contributions once conditions improved, have yet to do so. Federal Express, which just hiked earnings expectations “said it is taking roughly two years to fully restore the employer matching contributions it cut in February 2009.” “All told, almost one in five U.S. companies with at least 1,000 workers have reduced or suspended their matching contributions since September 2008. Roughly half have yet to restore those benefits, though many are considering reinstating at least a portion of the match within the next 12 months, according to a survey this spring by employee-benefits consulting firm Towers Watson.” And, the Journal reports, there’s more where that came from. “One in 10 employers as of February planned to reduce or eliminate matches within the next 12 months, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management released in late June.”

jewcowboy

August 5th, 2010
9:21 am

““nunancy,””

@@ refudiates that.

November

August 5th, 2010
9:22 am

Even if you believe her claims of ignorance, as I tend to do…….you know, Jay Bookman, you’re part of the problem of what’s wrong with the APS. Beverly Hall has known from the very start (if she didn’t, she’s even dumber than I think she is……don’t see how that could be but,) about the cheating because she instigated it…….she was smart enough to insulate herself against anyone who might want to blow the whistle. If i’m not mistaken, all of the schools implicated in this very real and downright disgusting scandal were schools in the majority black sections of Atlanta and is having the effect of painting all of the Atlanta Public School System as being bad…..and that’s not true; there are many fine schools in the APS. I have a solution……the APS should be split into two separate systems, 1) the majority black schools which are in the south part of the city and 2) the schools in the north part of the city. All the schools in the first category would change the name of their system to “SAPS” (South Atlanta Public Schools) and the schools in the second category would go by the new name of “NAPS” (North Atlanta Public Schools). Each would have a Superintendent chosen by their respective group of schools. This way the “SAPS” could just go on cheating (which they’re gonna do anyway) and the “NAPS” could educate their children in a way that would make them very good students and later become productive member of our society. Folks, lets be real honest about this, the SAPS are ruining and have been ruining the APS for many, many years…..it’s way past time to do something about it……this situation is not only ruining these kids lives, it’s ruining the school system and it’s making Atlanta look like a bunch of idiots for letting this situation go on without doing something.

Outhouse GoKart

August 5th, 2010
9:22 am

Agreed JC! Or pros and prose or nose and noose or close and clothes and on down the line. I wonder if the esteemed Ms Hall knows or is it nose?

Hmmm…Im sure if she doesnt she could somehow hold a prayer service in the name of The Baby Jesus and get to the bottom of the issue or is it ishoe.

Finn McCool

August 5th, 2010
9:23 am

So the pensions are gone, and now the 401K matches are going away, and all the companies have us investing our money in the casino that is the stock market.

Business has succeeded in squeezing the workers out.

Outhouse GoKart

August 5th, 2010
9:23 am

“Beverly Hall has known from the very start”

If she didnt or claims ignorance she should be fired.

Jay

August 5th, 2010
9:24 am

We tried that once, November. We called it “segregation,” and it’s part of the legacy we’re now struggling — together — to overcome.

N-GA

August 5th, 2010
9:25 am

Normal – The online prices for 1999 Dom can be found here: http://www.winezap.com/Dom-Perignon/1999/5924

The lowest price I noted was $139.99/bottle (750 ml). You can expect to realize less than that…perhaps $100 at best. Then there is the problem of shipping, especially in hot weather. I’m not sure that eBay even allows selling wine since there are no controls for verifying age. The online retailers ship these beverages and require that the carrier verify age upon receipt. Probably more info than you really wanted……..

Outhouse GoKart

August 5th, 2010
9:25 am

“Atlanta look like a bunch of idiots”

Its too late to change that now.

Dave R.

August 5th, 2010
9:26 am

Finn, that’s because they’re seeing their health insurance proposals for next year due to the new mandates in ObamaCare. Let’s all cover those 24 year-olds!

Our county is being hit with a $2 million increase, largely due to those new mandates.

As a result, they had to raise our property taxes. Good thing Hope & Change wasn’t going to raise taxes on people earning less than $250k, right? He just transfers the burden to the locals to do the raising on his policies!

USinUK

August 5th, 2010
9:28 am

Dave R – if the author is, in fact, meaning that they are currently without funds / insolvent / penniless / strapped / “in schtuck” … then, that is false

SS is not broke
Medicare/Medicaid are not broke

as for the doe / Fannie Freddie and other programs that have been expanded / tinkered with and otherwise faffed around with beyond their original intent (particularly the DoE), that doesn’t mean it’s a failure. Especially in the case of the DoE – had it kept to Carter’s original charter rather than be messed around with by Reagan, we may well be in a completely different situation with regards to foreign oil.

so, to say it’s a “failure” is false.

@@

August 5th, 2010
9:28 am

Yep…..”new-nancy”.

I’m out.

midtownguy

August 5th, 2010
9:29 am

Marie’s comments were spot on. Backs up my previous “school systems produce what parents demand, nothing more and nothing less”. The core problem is the environment the kids live in. The people I work with that I have the greatest admiration for are the ones who managed to pull themselves out of poverty neighborhoods and get a quality education. They are also the most productive. As one said “I got myself out of that and I don’t plan on going back.”

Outhouse GoKart

August 5th, 2010
9:29 am

“Hate to say I told you so…

Hugely profitable companies that won’t restore the 401(k) match they ditched in 2008.”

And you can thank Obama for it!

Happy now?

USinUK

August 5th, 2010
9:29 am

jcb – 9:21 – what do nuns have to do with it?

Normal

August 5th, 2010
9:30 am

Off topic…with no Intellegence Chief, who’s co-ordinating intel on our enemies? And who is supposed to be the champion of American safety?

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2010/08/ap_intelligence_clapper_vote_080410/

USinUK

August 5th, 2010
9:30 am

OGK – “And you can thank Obama for it!”

and why would Obama be at fault?

Marko

August 5th, 2010
9:30 am

I think this report doesn’t implicate Hall. But I think the report was incomplete at best, misleading at the worst. Basically, this report was a waste, time for a real investigation, not one ran by cronies of the school system.

Outhouse GoKart

August 5th, 2010
9:31 am

Dave R answered that question above…

Outhouse GoKart

August 5th, 2010
9:32 am

“Off topic…with no Intellegence Chief, who’s co-ordinating intel on our enemies? And who is supposed to be the champion of American safety?”

Obama and Holder!!

Feel safer now?