Dad Days of Summer: While Momania’s Theresa Walsh Giarrusso takes a vacation, local dad and sportswriter Andy Johnston will be filling in. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s now suspected that answers were changed on the spring’s state standardized tests in one out of every five public schools in Georgia.
That’s a stunning number, one that leaves little or no faith in Georgia’s public education system.
Although we live in a county where the public schools have a strong academic reputation, I’m concerned that there’s so much pressure on school systems to post successful test scores, answer changing, if not stopped right now, could reach almost every district in the state.
The extent of the scandal, which led to Atlanta’s children being a punch line to a Jay Leno joke, is overwhelming:
The Atlanta district is home to 58 of the 191 schools statewide that are likely to undergo investigations into potential cheating. Another 178 schools will probably see new test security mandates, such as stepped-up monitoring during testing.
The findings singled out 69 percent of Atlanta elementary and middle schools — far more than any other district — as needing formal probes into possible tampering.
Then there’s this:
The top five most suspicious schools statewide were in Atlanta. Gideons Elementary, Peyton Forest Elementary, F.L. Stanton Elementary and Usher/Collier Heights Elementary all had more than 78 percent of classes under suspicion.
In the district’s Parks Middle School, nearly 90 percent of classrooms had highly unusual erasures.
At Gideons, for example, “an average of 27 of 70 answers on each fourth-graders math test were changed from wrong to right in one classroom.”
No wonder so many private schools are popping up all over the metro area these days.
Ty will be starting kindergarten at a public school next month, so the grade-changing scandal hasn’t affected me, but any parent, whether they have kids in Georgia’s schools or not, should be appalled.
Were you surprised when you heard about the scandal?
Will you enroll your children in a private school this year?
Have you lost faith in Georgia’s public schools?
Coming Tuesday: Georgia football coach Mark Richt talks about family, faith and adoption and other issues in Part 1 of a Q&A that I had with him last week.
- By Andy Johnston, for the Momania blog