Real detention for cheating teachers, principals

The chairman of the Senate Education Committee wants teachers and principals who tamper with state-mandated tests to be treated as criminals.

A state audit last week showed that fifth-graders’ answers had been altered on Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests in four Georgia schools. At one, Atherton Elementary in DeKalb County, the principal resigned and the assistant principal was reassigned last week.

“I think it’s awful what they’ve done. It cheats the kids, and it’s not good for their school systems and not good for the state of Georgia,” said state Sen. Dan Weber (R-Dunwoody)

This morning, on WGAU (1340AM) in Athens, the president of the Georgia Association of Educators didn’t exactly jump up and say “Amen.”

The host, Tim Bryant, kindly sent the sound. Said Jeff Hubbard of the GAE:

”We going to have to talk to Senator Weber — that story broke this morning — to see exactly what he wants to do with that.

“What people have to understand is these people, I’m certain, will be facing a hearing with the Professional Standards Commission, [in] which they could lose their licensure. We would just have to look and see what’s in the write-up of the bill.

“Let me state though, that that’s one of the unintended consequences of No Child Left Behind — is the all-or-nothing emphasis. We think that a child and their progress should be based on more than a test score. In that regard, we think a school should be judged on more than a test score.”

In other words, cheating educators already face some consequences. However, Hubbard added:

””Let me state for the record that we’re absolutely disturbed and disgusted by these allegations, and if they are proven to be true, we hope that the state PSC will take action upon these educators.”

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Aaron Burr V. Mexico

June 16th, 2009
1:07 pm

They should be prosecuted. Why am I not shocked this happened in Dekalb Co.

Stan

June 16th, 2009
1:44 pm

What they did was stupid, it should NOT be a crime though. They SHOULD lose their jobs and possibly their license to teach…but come on!?! Jail for cheating???

John

June 16th, 2009
1:59 pm

The way to address this problem in the future is to make sure school officials and teachers don’t administer the tests to students in their own school districts.

The solution would workj like this: Every student in Georgia would take the particular CRT on the same day. School districts would have to adjust their schedules for this. On Sunday afternoon before the Monday, every teacher and administrator would report to their school. They would then board a bus to a different city somewhere in the state. For example, a group from School A in Fort Valley might go to Jesup, the group from Jesup to Montezuma, the group from Montezuma to Tallapoosa, the group from Tallapoosa to Gwinnett County, etc. Nobody would know where they were going except for one official in Atlanta and the bus driver. They would then be taken to that city, housed in a motel, and learn where they were going when they arrived at that school on Monday morning. The test booklets would be uinsealed at that time. The outside group of teachers would administer the tests. When tests were finished for the week, they would be immediately collected by a Department of Education designated individual who had no connection to that school. In this way, you wouldn’t have the built in chances for overt cheeating such as happened in this case. You also would avoid the other cheating that goes on–for example, if a first grade teacher orally administers the test to her students now, she can (and I actually heard one public school teacher a few years ago who said she did this) read the correct answer in a different tone to her students than the wrong answers and unfairly influence them to circle that answer. That would be avoided under my proposal. One makeup day would be established for those students who are sick the first day. If a student in the school does not take the test on either of those days, they would get a zero which would be factored into determining the average score that school received. There would be no second chances and the student could not be promoted if he did not make the required score the first time around. If the State thinks that it is important enough to spend millions of dollars on these tests, let’s do it right and do it fairly.

echo

June 16th, 2009
2:13 pm

John, did you even think before you typed? I agree teachers shouldn’t be administering the test, but asking us to take a Sunday to travel to some other school so your mind can be at ease is really just stupid. ‘Nuff said.

bigshot

June 16th, 2009
2:33 pm

Pressures on teacher to make sure their students succeed has caused this problem. In the minds of government officials if a student does not succeed it is the teachers fault. When are students going to be held responsible? In any endeavor in life somebody is going to be left behind. Education is no different, no matter what you do some children are going to be left behind.

BoDiddley

June 16th, 2009
2:49 pm

Audio linkee no workee

Steve

June 16th, 2009
3:56 pm

No jail time, but the individuals should definitely loose their job and their license to teach for at least a 5 years. What type message are these people showing the kids – if you can’t pass on your own knowledge, then cheat to get there.

catlady

June 16th, 2009
4:42 pm

Steve, kids are already getting this message quite well from home, thank you.

catlady

June 16th, 2009
4:50 pm

I like the idea about testing each other’s kids. We do that a little bit at my school with sp ed, 504, and ESOL kids. However, you have kids whose IEPs or TPMs say they must be tested by the teacher they are familiar with, so you would see more kids getting this accomodation, probably. I would also like to see a different test used. The CRCT is not a valid measure, IMHO, and is subject to “changes” at the state level. Teachers would need to be bused outside of their supervisors’ “good ole boy” network, however.

And a one day makeup period would not work, no matter what consequences you tried to attach to it.

With the expense of this, we would not be able to test 1-8 every year–another plus!

2009

June 16th, 2009
4:53 pm

Cheat on your taxes = jail.