Hall made everyone accountable but herself

As Atlanta school superintendent, Beverly Hall made sure that everyone in the district was accountable to her, and that she was held accountable by no one.

The result was a school district in which reporting ever-higher test scores, regardless of how they were achieved, became more important than educating children. Under Hall’s leadership, the district not only lost sight of its mission, it lost its soul.

“In many ways, the community was duped by Dr. Hall…,” a special investigative report released Tuesday by the state concludes. “She abused the trust they placed in her. Hall became the subject of adoration and made herself the focus rather than the children. Her image became more important than reality.”

The sheer numbers in the report are appalling: Thirty-eight elementary and middle school principals implicated in cheating on state-mandated standardized testing, part of the larger total of 178 teachers and staff members involved in the scandal. Cheating was discovered in 44 of the district’s 70 elementary and middle schools.

But the description of the environment within the district even more appalling than the numbers:

A culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation spread throughout the district….”

“Dr. Hall and her administration emphasized test results and public praise to the exclusion of integrity and ethics.”

“Virtually every teacher who confessed to cheating spoke of the inordinate stress the administration placed on meeting targets and the dire consequences for failure.”

Even though bonuses were paid to administrators, teachers and staff in schools that met their test-score targets, money didn’t motivate most of the cheating. Instead, “fear of termination and ridicule in faculty and principals meetings drove numerous educators to cross ethical lines.”

In one notable case, the principal at Fain Elementary School “forced a teacher to crawl under a table in a faculty meeting because that teacher’s students’ test scores were low…. Administrators used these tactics even though they knew, as they told us, that the targets set for the school were unreasonable.”

Despite the immense pressure they were putting on their subordinates to meet testing targets, the report concludes that district officials did nothing to stress the importance of acting ethically. Quite the contrary, “those who reported unethical behavior often became a target of retaliation, intimidation and harassment.”

Whenever evidence of cheating began to emerge, it was repeatedly ignored, destroyed, discredited, “lost” or otherwise made to disappear by Hall and her senior staff. Those individuals who had dared to tell the truth were made to disappear as well.

In May of 2010, to cite just one example of many in the report, Hall and her staff buried an independent report by Andrew Porter, dean of the education graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, that clearly validated claims of widespread cheating published by the AJC. Instead, Hall cited a second, superficial and highly flawed study to claim total vindication.

“If we are guilty of anything, we are guilty of demanding high standards of our students, teachers and principals,” Hall said at the time.

The sheer gall of such a statement, issued at a time when Hall knew without a doubt that serious problems existed, is astonishing. As the report concludes:

“To be clear, however, it was Dr. Hall who decided to use the services of Dr. Porter to evaluate the AJC’s work, held him out as the expert, participated in a teleconference regarding his study, proclaimed his work would be made public, received a copy of his report, deleted it from her computer, and allowed APS to falsely report that a copy of the report was not in the district. There is sufficient evidence that both Hall and [her top aide Kathy] Augustine did not properly maintain this public document and illegally withheld its release.”

Note the language in that paragraph. Its legal phrasing is important, because it is clearly written to describe a possible criminal case against Hall and Augustine. The report includes more than a few such paragraphs, citing false information given to investigators, destruction of public documents and other potential crimes.

In their public comments Tuesday, the newly elected school board chairman, Brenda Muhammad, and the interim superintendent, Erroll B. Davis, finally acknowledged the true gravity of the crisis, something that district officials have largely avoided until now. They acknowledged that while taxpayers have been cheated and state agencies have been cheated, the true victims are the thousands and more likely tens of thousands of students who have been told they were doing just fine, but in fact were being cheated of their one decent chance at an education.

– Jay Bookman

281 comments Add your comment

1811/1801 - 0311/0317

July 6th, 2011
8:58 am

“As Atlanta school superintendent, Beverly Hall made sure that everyone in the district was accountable to her, and that she was held accountable by no one.”

Spoken like a true liberal.

1811/1801 - 0311/0317

July 6th, 2011
9:01 am

And in a different way, but just a destructive, here is another example of “liberalism gone wild”:

Headline: “Bill Mandating Gay History in Schools Goes to Calif. Governor”

Yep……… when some students who graduate can even read or write let’s go down this road.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/07/05/bill-mandating-gay-history-in-schools-goes-to-calif-governor/#ixzz1RKUT1sOK

carlosgvv

July 6th, 2011
9:03 am

I think the real problem here is all the pressure put on teachers to get good test scores from their students. It seem the more we demand our students be tested, the less education they actually receive. Is there some way we can let our teachers go back to actually teaching and not constantly being pressured to produce good scores on what seems like an endless number of tests?

Bud Wiser

July 6th, 2011
9:04 am

Jay

July 6th, 2011
9:06 am

You have a one-rut mind, Scout.

the original and still the best John Galt

July 6th, 2011
9:08 am

It’s obvious that the management style at the Atlanta Public Schools was one that is all too common in both the private and public sectors today. There’s a focus on the “metrics” and severe punishment for not delivering high enough numbers, coupled with a personality cult surrounding the top job. This combination always produces similar results.

The U.S. military, and U.S. banks, to name two examples, are full of managers who use these methods.

Rightwing Troll

July 6th, 2011
9:08 am

“Spoken like a true liberal.”

Can you explain what that even means?

Did you ever come up with that list of impeachable offenses?

Are you glaring at me? Cause I’m glaring at you…

stands for decibels

July 6th, 2011
9:10 am

Hey, look on the bright side. Lil’ ol’ Atlanta’s in the national news again!

Rightwing Troll

July 6th, 2011
9:10 am

CRCT and NCLB are beyond abject failures. They teach kids how to fill in bubbles with a pencil, but little beyond that. Problem solving is a skill sorely lacking, one of MANY, in the kids that schools turn out these days.

Dave R.

July 6th, 2011
9:11 am

From the previous thread:

“For example, at Fain Elementary, the principal forced a teacher to crawl under a table in a faculty meeting because that teacher’s students’ test scores were low.”

I didn’t post this last night, but after reading the above I got this picture in my mind of some principal trying to tell our josef nix to crawl under a table.

I don’t think the results would have been the same for THAT principal.

Just sayin’ ! :D

Midori

July 6th, 2011
9:11 am

Troll,

if you think that’s special, you should check out the mountain of stupidity on the previous thread.

stands for decibels

July 6th, 2011
9:12 am

You have a one-rut mind, Scout.

I think I’ll print some of his whiniest posts, append them to my living will, and direct my loved ones to give me a lethal dose of whatever’s handy if I ever start to sound anything remotely like that.

Bud Wiser

July 6th, 2011
9:12 am

Bookman….“In their public comments Tuesday, the newly elected school board chairman, Brenda Muhammad, and the interim superintendent, Erroll B. Davis, finally acknowledged the true gravity of the crisis, something that district officials have largely avoided until now. They acknowledged that while taxpayers have been cheated and state agencies have been cheated, the true victims are the thousands and more likely tens of thousands of students who have been told they were doing just fine, but in fact were being cheated of their one decent chance at an education.

Backwards again, Bookman.

These losers in school are not ‘victims’, as the media stooges always try to portray them.

The victims are the taxpayers. Period.

Follow the money.

Prosecute, convict, send to jail; Harvard and her cronies should all be inside cells.

And is anyone here actually stupid enough to believe that “…tens of thousands of students who have been told they were doing just fine,…”, when in fact they were most likely being told something along the line of “you will learn more after we correct the tests”, or simply told nothing at all while the teachers unions instructed them to change the results so performance rewards would keep coming in.

The kids? They don’t care a whit. They don’t want to be there anyway – look at the dropout rates, then go ask those that ‘graduate’ to locate Iowa for you on a map.

Duh.

Jimmy62

July 6th, 2011
9:12 am

Yep, the one decent chance at an education— Because liberals like to trap kids in bad schools with no options or choices.

Vouchers allow kids who want to learn to at least have options. Whether those options are better than Atlanta Public Schools or not is up to debate, but it’s hard for me to believe a random charter school would be worse than a system with institutional cheating.

Rightwing Troll

July 6th, 2011
9:13 am

Thanks Midori, but I’ll pass. He’s been in a downward spiral since his first day on this blog, just kinda sad actually…

Adam

July 6th, 2011
9:15 am

Taking my comment here, from downstairs:

Peadawg: Just look at the disruption they caused in Wisconsin.

Just keep your head down and everything will be fine….

@@: Had they lost their job, there’s no way you can predict their job would have been permanently lost.

It’s not my prediction that matters, but the perception of the person in the position, who probably was taught much the same way as the above: “keep your head down and everything will be fine.” Stepping up and taking a stand means death to some of these people, or the equivalent. It’s a real fear they have. I’m not saying it’s right, I happen to agree that kids are worth the risk. But it’s still far too easy to judge people in hindsight and with idealistic viewpoints.

Mary Elizabeth

July 6th, 2011
9:15 am

The testing of students should be used only for diagnostic purposes.

Students’ test results should not be tied to a teacher’s, or a principal’s, job security or salary to insure that this miscarriage of ethics does not happen again.

Don’t throw out the need for diagnostic testing of students; it is needed to insure the correct instructional placement and instruction of students. However, do place the necessity for the testing of students in its proper balance and perspective.

Thomas

July 6th, 2011
9:15 am

Our gov’t doing what it generally does given the opportunity. We should desire more gov’t control.

Don't Tread

July 6th, 2011
9:16 am

Stop Snitchin!!

Adam

July 6th, 2011
9:17 am

@@: This says it all: Quite the contrary, “those who reported unethical behavior often became a target of retaliation, intimidation and harassment.”

Rightwing Troll

July 6th, 2011
9:18 am

Jimmy62, My kids have been in private school since thier first day (going on the 8th year now), the results aren’t any better and you have to live with the fact that it’s a for profit entity so after raping you for tuition (for substandard teaching) they soak you for extras. And since it’s private, they don’t have to actually help if the child struggles or has emotional issues, they throw the child out by saying “maybe this isn’t the proper environment for him/her”.

Dave R.

July 6th, 2011
9:19 am

“But it’s still far too easy to judge people in hindsight and with idealistic viewpoints.”

It is far too easy to dismiss idealistic viewpoints, Adam.

Idealistic viewpoints were the backbone of what created this nation. And if you’re not going to stand up for yourself, why should you think that anyone else will do so for you?

You can only be intimidated if you ALLOW someone to intimidate you.

Adam

July 6th, 2011
9:19 am

Jimmy62: Vouchers are not the answer. Educating kids to be critical thinkers is the answer.

getalife

July 6th, 2011
9:20 am

Sorry to see Ga. making bad national news so much lately.

Immigration and now education.

Sad.

Jm

July 6th, 2011
9:21 am

This speaks very poorly of halls leadership skills, at best. And really I just corrupt.

It also shows a poor level of professionalism among administrators and the teaching staff.

Unbelievably sad disappointing and infuriating, especially when considering we are talking about kids’ futures.

stands for decibels

July 6th, 2011
9:21 am

do place the necessity for the testing of students in its proper balance and perspective.

Per usual, Mary Elizabeth, you’ve grasped the crux of this here biscuit.

President Hussein

July 6th, 2011
9:22 am

20 or so posts, no lefty has blamed Bush yet…..will wonders cease???

As for Jay’s previous thread “a conservative (David Brooks) slams GOP…”; that’s sort of like saying a liberal (ala Zell Miller) slams Democrats….lmfao!!!

Adam

July 6th, 2011
9:23 am

Dave R: Like I said, far too easy to judge people with idealistic viewpoints.

When your entire background is based on years of avoiding oppression by kowtowing to authority figures, of COURSE the more likely scenario for you is going to be to just do what authority wants. THAT type of culture started long before these problems in the APS, and the current national trend is to take advantage of that to further create drones who do whatever they are told with very little critical thinking. This is the type of educational system you have if all you want is a workforce and a military, with no innovation or progress in the mix.

AmVet - A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

July 6th, 2011
9:23 am

“One-rut mind.”

Too funny.

And why I read very few of these terrified Republican negrophobes and their hyper-xenophobic “contributions” on display here daily.

Miniscule vocabularies, elementary mistakes in science, grammar and history, ideologued tunnel vision bordering on myopia, an obvious lack of critical thinking skills and endless logical fallacies.

It would seem that a whole bunch of future Georgia Republicans also “cheated” themselves through school…

Paul

July 6th, 2011
9:24 am

The breadth of malfeasance is staggering. Yes, it began with the superintendent, but the fact such unprofessional and illegal actions were embraced by such a number is mind-numbing.

On the bright side, about half the leadership at local schools didn’t succumb. But only half.

Another open item – any teachers who were terminated for resisting should be reinstated, quickly, or the lawsuit amounts will also be staggering.

stands for decibels

July 6th, 2011
9:27 am

Another open item – any teachers who were terminated for resisting should be reinstated, quickly

indeed.

Jay, do you happen to be privy to any information about that? I’ve not seen anything reported…

Mary Elizabeth

July 6th, 2011
9:28 am

stands for decibels @ 9:21
Thank you.

Jm

July 6th, 2011
9:28 am

I hope criminal prosecution does happen.

I also hope all teachers guilty of cheating are fired.

Teachers must be accountable for test scores. Cheating is not a solution. A sad statement on the condition of American public education.

Left wing management

July 6th, 2011
9:28 am

“She abused the trust they placed in her. Hall became the subject of adoration and made herself the focus rather than the children. Her image became more important than reality.”

You know they say under Stalin’s dictatorship when everyone who was in a room where Stalin was giving a talk rose to salute the leader, Stalin himself would turn around and make a salute himself, with his back to the others. But Hitler, when he was leader would simply remain facing the crowd, as though to fully absorb the adoration of the crowd.

I wonder which type of dictator Hall was.

Jay

July 6th, 2011
9:29 am

SFD, it’s still too early, a day after the report’s release, to expect any action in that regard. But I do expect both reinstatements AND lawsuits over some of these personnel actions.

wet wiccan

July 6th, 2011
9:30 am

This is what happens when people try to force everything into a business model. Schools are not factories. Children are not products. NCLB is an abomination.

Southern Comfort

July 6th, 2011
9:30 am

I see the same people are spouting the same crap as usual. One person says to hell with the students while someone else claims it’s because of partisan speech. I agree with dB’s 9:12 in that if I ever sound like some of y’all whiny asses, take me out back and put me down like a used up thoroughbred horse.

:roll:

Jay

July 6th, 2011
9:31 am

And jm, the interim superintendent and new board chair made it clear that while they sympathize with those teachers who felt pressured to cheat, all cheaters will be fired.

allen981

July 6th, 2011
9:31 am

Name one aspect of Atlanta city government that has not been subject to criminal behavior over the past 20 years…Mayor Bill Campbell went to jail, and should still be there, the airport’s Ira Jackson and others went to jail, now this.

Throw these low lifes under the jail, not in it. They damaged children – children who, because of a lack of home life and structure were the most vulnerable in our society. They should – and likely will – pay dearly.

I’m a Republican, a conservative, but the most perplexing question that we face as a society is how to help children who have no home life, no family structure, realize their full potential. Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is an honorable thing, but somehow we have to first show kids where that bootstrap is.

Mary Elizabeth

July 6th, 2011
9:32 am

Jm @ 9:28

Teachers should be accountable for student growth. Test results are only one indicator of that growth. Massive agendas based simply on test results are counter productive, as the Atlanta School System fiasco has demonstrated.

Jm

July 6th, 2011
9:34 am

Cheating parties??!

And halls further denials thru an attorney strongly suggest the mindset and behavior of someone who is a criminal.

?

July 6th, 2011
9:36 am

I’m a Republican, a conservative, but the most perplexing question that we face as a society is how to help children who have no home life, no family structure, realize their full potential. Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is an honorable thing, but somehow we have to first show kids where that bootstrap is.

When you said that you were a Republican, your response did not seem sincere/creditable. Just say that you are a citizen and then we will not get the bickering from both sides

Jm

July 6th, 2011
9:39 am

ME true scores aren’t the only metric. But they are a good one.

Works well for all the Asian kids kicking our global butts.

Jay, good to hear. So so sad.

Left wing management

July 6th, 2011
9:39 am

Quite a black eye for Atlanta, which is now officially poster boy for school cheating. But will it be the last? Or biggest?

From CBS News:

In Atlanta, the warning signs were there, but potential whistle-blowers were bullied, or worse. At one Atlanta high school, former teacher Paul Landerman saw a teacher helping 50 students change test answers. He reported it. The next day, he says, he was fired.

Quote from Diane Ravitch:

“We have a terrible federal law called No Child Left Behind that says that all schools have to have 100 percent of their students proficient in reading in math by the year 2014 or their schools will be shut down

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/07/05/eveningnews/main20077025.shtml

Adam

July 6th, 2011
9:39 am

Schools are not factories. Children are not products. NCLB is an abomination.

One of these things is not like the others….

Dave R.

July 6th, 2011
9:40 am

It’s not often that I am shocked by the diarrheal discharge that comes out of your computer, Adam, but this last one takes the cake

“When your entire background is based on years of avoiding oppression by kowtowing to authority figures, of COURSE the more likely scenario for you is going to be to just do what authority wants.”

So your saying that parents and public schools have created an entire culture of people who no longer value themselves as individuals? That they NEED to have authority figures over them because it’s just too hard to stand up for themselves? And you SUPPORT this system?

“THAT type of culture started long before these problems in the APS, and the current national trend is to take advantage of that to further create drones who do whatever they are told with very little critical thinking.”

You finally admit that public schools are a failure? Were on the same page, then.

“This is the type of educational system you have if all you want is a workforce and a military, with no innovation or progress in the mix.”

I see. The military are a bunch of drones. Ever served in the military, Adam? Don’t answer that. I know you haven’t. Because if you had you’d know how offensive it is to those who have served to read that from a liberal piece of crap who didn’t have the national pride and civic service to do so, all the while denigrating the very people who protect your right to issue such diarrheal discharge without fear of retribution.

Your the perfect example of years of government schooling and liberal indoctrination. Tell us, what’s it like to be so superior to everybody else?

getalife

July 6th, 2011
9:40 am

I think it is a culture of cheating in our country.

gop loses, then cheats by collapsing our economy to try to win a election.

Sport stars on capital hill for lying about using drugs to cheat.

The rich cheating on their taxes and bribing corrupt pols.

Adam

July 6th, 2011
9:41 am

Works well for all the Asian kids kicking our global butts.

Different culture is the answer for this one, not the test scores. They don’t do well on tests because tests are standardized. They do well on tests because of the culture and parental pressure to do well on tests. But that is not the ONLY place that the pressure is focused.

Tychus Findlay

July 6th, 2011
9:41 am

The point was made yesterday that it is politically correct to assume that everyone has equal ability and therefore access to a college education. This drives the behavior to inflate grades and test scores to justify the higher grades. Thus, you create a culture that places its emphasis on testing instead of educating.

If we were to focus on educating, it would become clear as to who is fated for higher education and who needs to attend trade school.

Southern Comfort

July 6th, 2011
9:42 am

jm

Test scores don’t mean a thing if you’re not teaching material and the students are not learning. The Asians are teaching their kids the things they need to learn and how to learn it. They are not teaching how to pass a test. That’s why they’re kicking our ass in education. You can make somebody learn that 2+2=4, however, if they don’t learn and understand the concept of addition, it doesn’t help them at all to memorize the answer.

?

July 6th, 2011
9:43 am

Cheating happens in other states also. New York had the same problem a few years ago.

Cheating scandal at Lehman: DOE’s response and echoes of the past

http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2009/10/cheating-scandal-at-lehman-does.html

Dave R.

July 6th, 2011
9:43 am

“But I do expect both reinstatements AND lawsuits over some of these personnel actions.”

Agreed, Jay. And the lawsuits will be monumental on this one.

allen981

July 6th, 2011
9:44 am

By the way, which Republican candidate has done more as an individual to help children in need than any other candidate?

Our next president, Michelle Bachmann, with 23 foster children. Real, meaningful personal commitment, intellect (yep, Jay, intellect, if you’ll just listen to her for more than an MSNBC news clip) and experience. And, she’s a realist about governance and the give and take, the compromises essential to success.

Joe Mama

July 6th, 2011
9:44 am

Jimmy62 — “Yep, the one decent chance at an education— Because liberals like to trap kids in bad schools with no options or choices.”

Nobody’s *trapped.* Anybody who wants to take their kid out of public school and educate them differently can do that today. Right now.

“Vouchers allow kids who want to learn to at least have options.”

You already *have* options. If you want to take your kids out of public school TODAY and put them in a private academy, a church school, a military academy or even home school them, you can do that right now. What you don’t have are SUBSIDIZED options, and that’s what this is really about.

And here I thought conservatives were opposed to entitlement programs.

NPI

July 6th, 2011
9:45 am

Our next president, Michelle Bachmann…

Did you mean YOUR next president?

Aquagirl

July 6th, 2011
9:45 am

“Spoken like a true liberal.” Can you explain what that even means?

You think he can take time out to explain? He’s busy answering WND’s daily call to fight teh horrid gayz lurking in every corner. Probably by writing a fat check.

Left wing management

July 6th, 2011
9:46 am

Dave R.: “Ever served in the military, Adam? Don’t answer that. I know you haven’t. Because if you had you’d know how offensive it is to those who have served to read that from a liberal piece of crap who didn’t have the national pride and civic service to do so, all the while denigrating the very people who protect your right to issue such diarrheal discharge without fear of retribution.”

Careful now, you shouldn’t associate “liberal” with refusal to server when clearly the most egregious cases of draft dodging are on the GOP side.

Southern Comfort

July 6th, 2011
9:48 am

LWM

I think Dave was referring specifically about that poster and not “liberal” in general.

allen981

July 6th, 2011
9:49 am

She’ll be OUR president just like Obama is OUR president, NPI.

Just wondering: do you prefer intractable 9 percent unemployment and a growing sense of economic malaise because of a president that clearly doesn’t have a clue?

getalife

July 6th, 2011
9:50 am

We have cheaters on this blog that will never admit they are wrong and call that debate.

Adam

July 6th, 2011
9:50 am

Dave R: So your saying that parents and public schools have created an entire culture of people who no longer value themselves as individuals?

No. I didn’t say where the blame came from, but you can bet it’s not solely on the part of public schools or parents. There’s MUCH more to it than that.

That they NEED to have authority figures over them because it’s just too hard to stand up for themselves?

A lot of them have this belief, yes.

And you SUPPORT this system?

Of course not. I am AGAINST such a culture. But what can you do to change overall culture? I don’t have a solution to that, certainly not one that is all encompassing. It would require the effort of many individuals and institutions working TOGETHER to do that.

You finally admit that public schools are a failure? Were on the same page, then.

Public schools, as an institution that is shaped by the public and legislators and other elected officials, are not the problem, but a symptom of the culture problem.

The military are a bunch of drones

Didn’t say that. I am however pointing out that doing what authority wants, without question, is EXACTLY what you want in a military footsoldier. It’s not what you want in the people who are higher up, but I would like to think that promotion depends on some sort of above-and-beyond actions that denote leadership capability and critical thinking.

I’m sorry you’re offended, but most of your offense comes from thinking I think things that I did not say or represent. Hopefully I’ve clarified some of that.

The fact remains that critical thinking is a necessary lesson for students if we want to do more than just exist as we are.

Mary Elizabeth

July 6th, 2011
9:50 am

Jm @ 9:39

Check out my 9:15 a.m. and you will see my support of the testing of students.

After 35 years in education, I can state that it is impossible to give a “blogbite” response regarding the intricacies and complexities involved in the correlation of students’ test results and teachers’ evaluations. That does not mean that that correlation does not exist; it simply means that the details of knowing how they correlate are too complex to elaborate further on this blog.

md

July 6th, 2011
9:52 am

Whatever happened to teaching the material?? If one knows the material, it shouldn’t matter what is on the test……………laziness is more often the culprit as the student must take it upon oneself to supplement what they learn at school with home study………and that comes down to the parents……

BADA BING

July 6th, 2011
9:52 am

Hall and the APS had their own little Chicago going on, didn’t they?

Left wing management

July 6th, 2011
9:52 am

allen981: Our next president, Michelle Bachmann, with 23 foster children. Real, meaningful personal commitment, intellect (yep, Jay, intellect, if you’ll just listen to her for more than an MSNBC news clip) and experience. And, she’s a realist about governance and the give and take, the compromises essential to success.

But the problem with her is that, as David Brooks said yesterday of the party as a whole now, she has contempt for the intellectual norms of the Western scientific tradition, but without having the intellectual seriousness or capacity to replace it with anything other than vague religious enthusiasm.

Therefore — she’s not a serious candidate for president of the United States.

Dave R.

July 6th, 2011
9:52 am

“Our next president, Michelle Bachmann”

I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

Thomas

July 6th, 2011
9:53 am

“Miniscule vocabularies, elementary mistakes in science, grammar and history, ideologued tunnel vision bordering on myopia, an obvious lack of critical thinking skills and endless logical fallacies.”

Let the comedy show begin. This does not appear to be a sentence Mr. Mensa.

getalife

July 6th, 2011
9:54 am

Check the NH polls.

willard is flip flopping everyday and crushing the gop field.

Aquagirl

July 6th, 2011
9:54 am

I served, and somehow made it through Adam’s comment without a swooning pearl-clutching fit. Surely you can do the same, Dave.

Left wing management

July 6th, 2011
9:56 am

Southern Comfort, you’re right, in my haste I misread Dave R.’s statement. My apologies.

Dave R.

July 6th, 2011
9:56 am

“I am however pointing out that doing what authority wants, without question, is EXACTLY what you want in a military footsoldier.”

Adam, please do all of us who DID serve in the military a favor.

Stop trying to project your incorrect notion of what the military, wants, needs and looks for in their recruits when you don’t have the first clue, OK?

Dave R.

July 6th, 2011
9:58 am

I never “swoon”, Aquagirl. (except when viewing Number Six)

Southern Comfort

July 6th, 2011
9:59 am

laziness is more often the culprit as the student must take it upon oneself to supplement what they learn at school with home study………and that comes down to the parents……

Not so fast, grasshopper!! If they are not being taught anything other than how to take the test, what are they to supplement at home, test taking? It’s not laziness on the students part. I don’t even think the blame lies on the teachers. The problem is that we’ve allowed politics to invade and corrupt our educational system. Politics has taken over standards and curriculum instead of letting the educators determine those things. What we need is a back-the-basics approach to education.

The Gipper

July 6th, 2011
10:00 am

If Murdoch had been on this story he probably would have dug up some valuable voicemails or something a lot sooner than you guys at the AJC. Those guys at NewsCorp are really good at what they do.

@@

July 6th, 2011
10:03 am

This, in my opinion, is the reason behind why America’s schools have a long history of failure.

Finally, a host of groups across the political spectrum have looked to public schools as a key means of accomplishing what they consider to be important political or social objectives, such as racial integration, social tolerance, democratic participation, or environmental awareness.

The history of public education reform is a story in which these groups—sometimes in concert and sometimes in opposition to professional educators with their own designs—jockey for position to make their indelible mark on the school policies of the day.

[SNIP]

By any reasonable measure, America’s monopolistic, bureaucratic, over-regulated system of public schools is woefully unprepared to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. Political, business, and education leaders continue to talk about “reforming” the current public education system. They should, instead, be discussing how to replace it.

http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/the-failure-of-american-public-education/

“If the horse you’re riding is dead…GET OFF!”

Jm

July 6th, 2011
10:05 am

94.6 passi rate in Decatur. Aps 65.9%. Ugh

Left wing management

July 6th, 2011
10:06 am

allen981, you know it occurs to me that the Michelle Bachmanns are the perfect flip side in the GOP to the Randians like Rand Paul and Paul Ryan. Both types want to conjure away the sharp edges and harsh social conditions their ideological positions bring with them in some form of religious (or in the case of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, pseudo-religious) mystification.

Steve

July 6th, 2011
10:07 am

Hey Jay,

Do you have any statistics or pretty charts to highlight the democrat versus republican make-up of the 3 major offenders of this massive cheating scandal…Clayton, Fulton, Dekalb counties…a picture is worth a thousand words…unfortunately you and you liberal cronies look pretty ridiculous on this one.

Spin away Jay…spin away….maybe you can attack Newt, Mitt, or Sarah Palin to divert our attention.

Pat

July 6th, 2011
10:09 am

I see the mouth-breathers got up early to post on this on. Jeez. Wingers, if you’d stop frothing at the mouth long enough to read and comprehend Jay’s post you might notice Jay’s actually written a pretty conservative opinion piece here. Accountability, hello?
So it’s left to me to be the liberal, so here goes: Bush and the right partly to blame here? You bet.
No one but Hall is to blame for her reprehensible lies and misconduct in this scandal. But the whole crazed obsession with test score targets with NO funding to allow teachers to get kids ready to meet those scores is the ugly bastard stepchild of Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” insanity.
The nonsensical “teach to the test” mentality set into motion has led us here. All it took to finish the job were ethically and morally compromised school executives, desperate to meet unattainable targets.
I’d love to see the typical conservative Georgia “bidnessman” – or even better, one of our intellectually challenged Republican legislators – sent to one of our public schools in a high crime low income district – and tell him his pay is directly contigent on being able to get good test scores.
Very quickly, the excuse-making, self-justifications would ensue … and maybe these esteemed geniuses might get a glimpse of why this strategy is laughable.
Better still – let’s institute “merit pay” for legislators – today.

Don't Tread

July 6th, 2011
10:10 am

Looks like “hope and change” for the school system didn’t work out so well.

getalife

July 6th, 2011
10:11 am

Yeah Steve,

It is a partisan issue.

Seriously Steve?

Adam

July 6th, 2011
10:11 am

Military is BASED on deference to authority. If you think otherwise, please explain. I am open to being wrong on that, and would certainly prefer to be.

I have nothing against the military EXCEPT that, and that’s only in relation to my personal choice not to join on that and some other priorities I had when that decision was available to me.

Southern Comfort

July 6th, 2011
10:11 am

Do you have any statistics or pretty charts to highlight the democrat versus republican make-up of the 3 major offenders of this massive cheating scandal…Clayton, Fulton, Dekalb counties

How in the hell do you equate Clayton and Dekalb counties with APS? Why not throw the Gwinnett County Board in there as well? I guess that would cloud the partisaned BS you’re trying to peddle huh??? :roll:

Bosch

July 6th, 2011
10:11 am

“We have a terrible federal law called No Child Left Behind that says that all schools have to have 100 percent of their students proficient in reading in math by the year 2014 or their schools will be shut down”

Yeap, by 2014 — everything will be okay, because every single kid will be passing!

The Thin Guy

July 6th, 2011
10:11 am

Problem: You are a teacher in the Atlantic Public School system. You have been told that you will be fired unless your students’ test scores cross a threshold set by people who don’t understand the problem. Your students are as bright and intelligent as any other. But they have no interest in learning. For them school is just a place to establish social relationships and get drugs.

Solution: Cheat.

Better Solution: Restore Corporal Punishment. When the little scholars show up at school and haven’t performed their homework assignments emulate the British Navy from a few centuries back: Start the roll. All hands on deck to witness punishment. Strap them to their desks. And lay in with a will. The APS will start producing scholars instead of gang bangers.

Lance Armstrong

July 6th, 2011
10:12 am

I cheat to WIN. I cheat to earn more $$$. I cheat ’cause it makes me feel special — when, in fact, I’m not. I cheat and nurture a culture of cheating, and I get credit as Cyclist of the Decade. I’m a Republican white male. I cheat, and my name is Lance Armstrong.

Uncle Jed

July 6th, 2011
10:13 am

From Downstairs regarding the union assertion:

Mr_B

July 6th, 2011
8:31 am
“run by the Teachers Union”
Falsehood. Teachers in Georgia are forbidden by law to unionize.
Pick a different straw man.
++++++++++++++++++++++++

Adam

July 6th, 2011
8:35 am
Teachers in Georgia are forbidden by law to unionize.

Exactly why you can “get away” with forcing a teacher under a desk. Ugh.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Peadawg

July 6th, 2011
8:52 am
“Teachers in Georgia are forbidden by law to unionize.”

Amen to that. Just look at the disruption they caused in Wisconsin.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Aquagirl

July 6th, 2011
9:28 am
…Ahh…government Schools run by the Teachers Union…what did you expect!!

Really? When you have teachers forced to sit under tables as punishment, sounds like a union is a good idea….

…Also, a commenter blaming a non-existent union with another pre-programmed fave Boortz phrase, what else did you expect from our resident cons?
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The names on the following list sure sound like unions to me:

Georgia Association Of Educators
Georgia Federation Of Teachers
Atlanta Federation Of Teachers
Organization Of Dekalb Educators
Gwinnett County Association Of Educators

Note: It is reported that only 7.5% of Georgia teachers are unionized, but it looks as though the Atlanta system is included to some degree.

http://www.teachersunionexposed.com/state.cfm?state=GA

BADA BING

July 6th, 2011
10:13 am

michelle o’s Cheating Party Fashion Tips and Dos and Don’ts
Atlanta Public Schools Edition
Do wear the classic White Gloves when erasing those test scores. Keep those smears and fingerprints to a minimum
Don’t ask embarrassing questions to the Host or Hostess. You might not want to know the answer
Don’t overstep the boundaries given by your superiors. They know what’s best, and no one likes a snitch
Fresh hot coffee is always welcomed by your fellow cheaters. It keeps your energy level up, and a sharp mind helps you co-ordinate your alibis
Alcohol is a must at parties. Helps you cope with the loss of your moral character, and dammit, you have been working hard. Enjoy

Adam

July 6th, 2011
10:13 am

In other words, Dave, I support the military to exist, and to do its thing. I don’t want to personally be part of any military live action, but would not mind being civilian technical support or IT.

Bosch

July 6th, 2011
10:13 am

“And here I thought conservatives were opposed to entitlement programs.”

Except for things they want. If you want to send your kid to private school, do it, but not with taxpayer money.

Aquagirl

July 6th, 2011
10:14 am

Dave, lol—I would think Number Six induces some men to skip swooning and go right to the pearl-clutching.

getalife

July 6th, 2011
10:14 am

“44 of 56 schools that goes back a decade” CNN.

There ya go Steve.

Go find out if they are d or r.

Bosch

July 6th, 2011
10:15 am

Dave R.

July 6th, 2011
9:52 am
“Our next president, Michelle Bachmann”

I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

Yeah, Dave, me too — glad I haven’t eaten yet this morning.

allen981

July 6th, 2011
10:17 am

“…contempt for the intellectual norms of the Western scientific tradition, but without having the intellectual seriousness or capacity to replace it with anything other than vague religious enthusiasm…

Wow, Left Wing, I’m impressed with your sentence…Just wondering if those norms you speak of the ones that have cancelled our space program, left us with unprecedented unemployment, and provided our people with more hopelessness than at any time since the Depression?

And, what ‘ intellectual norms’ must a candidate fulfill or endorse to be a serious candidate? The ones that Bill Clinton didn’t meet when the press called him ‘Bubba’ before he became a serious candidate? The ones that Jimmy Carter, a nuclear physicist, Naval Academy grad, and the worst president in the history of this country set forth?

Clearly, you must be among those who believe that Obama fully meets those “Western intellectual norms” and who, as Chris Matthews said, is the “smartest president in our history.”

Yet, LW, it wasn’t Obama’s intellect that elected him; it was the votes of millions of have nots in the country who want what the ‘haves’ have. And trust me, those ‘have nots’ do not meet the intellectual norms of the west.

His intellect, such as it is, isn’t serving him – or us – too well right now. How’s that 9 percent unemployment working for you, or the lagging recovery, the slowest in our history?

Yes, folks, you read it here first: President Bachmann. Have a happy Wednesday.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

July 6th, 2011
10:17 am

Well, everybody’s all down in the dumps about this school cheating. Seems like those kids can’t think and are no good at school. Everybody thinks their life is ruint.

But my buddy Jim Earl and my other buddy Joe Bill decided we need to look on the bright side. You eat a elephant one bite at a time. If all those kids don’t know anything and can’t think and are no good at reading and stuff like that, sooner or later Atlanta is going to turn around and be like the rest of the state. All those kids are going to grow up some day. And when they do, they’ll be Republicans!

Have a good day everybody.

jeff

July 6th, 2011
10:18 am

@1811/1801 – 0311/0317

“As Atlanta school superintendent, Beverly Hall made sure that everyone in the district was accountable to her, and that she was held accountable by no one.”

Spoken like a true liberal.”

Yes, true Republicans are pro fraud. That’s what being a Republican is all about, inviting fraud into our lives. We want as much fraud as possible. Conservatives= fraud, didn’t you know?

Partisians, at this moment in time, are extremely stupid people. At least we can have fun with their rank stupidity.

Bosch

July 6th, 2011
10:20 am

“The names on the following list sure sound like unions to me:

Georgia Association Of Educators
Georgia Federation Of Teachers
Atlanta Federation Of Teachers
Organization Of Dekalb Educators
Gwinnett County Association Of Educators

Note: It is reported that only 7.5% of Georgia teachers are unionized”

Well, Jed, they aren’t — ever heard of professional organizations? They are as much “unions” as the American Medical Association or AARP. And as to your 7.5% number — try 0% — that is the percent of unionized teachers in GA as there are NO TEACHER UNIONS IN THIS STATE.

[Geez, why must we repeat the same sh*t every time?}

getalife

July 6th, 2011
10:20 am

Bosch,

She is running a strong second in NH.

Of course, if David Duke jumps in, that could change.

AmVet - A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

July 6th, 2011
10:21 am

Thomas, you ignorant ____, it is a long established style of mine.

Yes, Harold Einstein, wonder of wonders! I fully understand what a subject and verb are! I also learned about the seven parts of speech and was once exceedingly fluent in diagramming sentences!

My academic record is outstanding.

You need to wake up and focus on the content and let’s see if you can debate the points therein intelligently.

But kudos for even knowing what Mensa is…

Bosch

July 6th, 2011
10:21 am

getalife,

As Jay pointed out the other day, her “crazy” will surface soon enough. :)