Two pages of CRCT facts you’re allowed to know — for now

In the end, what you’re allowed to know about the CRCT scandal in the Atlanta Public School system — for now– is limited to a two-page set of talking points.

Click here to read them.

Gov. Nathan Deal announced last week that he would announce the findings of the yearlong APS investigation. But just before Deal appeared with the two former prosecutors who conducted the probe – Mike Bowers and Bob Willson – staffers confirmed that the report itself would be withheld.

The governor said he was waiting for a judgment from Attorney General Sam Olens, which could come later today.

Some of the facts that you’re allowed to know:

– We found cheating in 44 of the 56 schools we examined…There were 38 principals of those 56 schools …found to be responsible for, or directly involved in, cheating.

–We determined that 178 teachers and principals in the Atlanta Public School system cheated. Of the 178, 82 confessed to this misconduct…

– Cheating occurred as early as 2001.

– There were warnings of cheating on CRCT as early as December 2005/January 2006. The warnings were significant and clear and were ignored.

– Cheating was caused by a number of factors but primarily by the pressure to meet targets in the data driven-environment…..

– A culture of fear, intimidation and retalian existed in the APS, which created a conspiracy of silence and deniability with respect to standardized test misconduct.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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26 comments Add your comment

Tom

July 5th, 2011
11:48 am

no surprises…..

julio

July 5th, 2011
11:53 am

Fire all teacher & principal involved. Force them to repay all bonuses, revoke techer crtificates, and jail all found guilty. Its the only way to clean house.Of course it won’t happen.

Mid Town Joe

July 5th, 2011
11:53 am

This will be very damaging to the Georgia, not just Atlanta Public Schools.

Burroughston Broch

July 5th, 2011
11:56 am

Greed and lust for power from the top down. I trust that indictments will soon follow.

Raquel Morris

July 5th, 2011
11:56 am

What makes me most angry is that after the extensive investigations carried out by the AJC and Governor Perdue’s investigators, the vast majority of our elected officials, including Mayor Kasim Reed, were afraid to call for Beverly Hall’s resignation. The Mayor spent all of his time carrying the Chamber of Commerce’s water, ignoring the cheating crisis, and chasing Khaatim El out of his seat. Reed was wrong on this issue and should never be given control of APS.

As a State Senator, Kasim Reed wrote the legislation that took away the Board of Education’s authority over the Superintendent. Other than hiring her, the Board had no oversight into the Superintendent’s office. Kasim Reed wrote the governance legislation that created an environment where Beverly Hall could lie, cheat, steal and get away with it.

Donaldo

July 5th, 2011
11:56 am

Trust must be restored in our educational system, in order to start, the first step should be public accountability, community service and significant monetary fines for all involved, and if necessary, jail time. The citizens of ATL, especially the children, deserve nothing less. We will all be watching.

Old South

July 5th, 2011
11:57 am

Mid Town Joe,

GA is already at the bottom. The growth of Atlanta is due largely to people leaving even worse areas of our country.

The real bombshell, if there is one, is that South GA is also doctoring test results. Just a glance at data is very interesting. The other possibility is South Georgians are incredibly intelligent, more so than other states which rank high nationally. Hmmm…

Too Disgusted

July 5th, 2011
12:01 pm

Why? Why would we even waste our time and tax dollars investigating only to find out what we already knew was true, then withhold findings? What a WASTE!

Susan

July 5th, 2011
12:03 pm

You’re kidding! That’s all we get for a 10 month investigation from Bowers and Wilson! Where’s the list of implicated schools? What about those of us whose children attend APS? How much of this cheating also ties into NCLB? Change the Bush law!!

Kiljoy

July 5th, 2011
12:05 pm

This is and always has been about money and power. Perfomance bonuses, lucrative APS contracts and control over who gets them is at the heart of this “scandal.” The entire system is rotten at the core, get rid of everyone involved starting with the current Mayor who played a big part in creating the culture at APS. He is responsible for giving the superintendent absolute authority over the lives of children. The state needs to immediately move to get rid of SACs. Hall is gone and should be indicted but her leadership team is still largely in place and must be held accountable.

Centrist

July 5th, 2011
12:07 pm

As mentioned above, there was ALSO a conspiracy to protect Beverly Hall until the end of her contract. She must have known about some government involvement and was ready to blow the whistle unless she could leave town (country?) without being fired and subject to indictment.

The Ghost of Lester Maddox

July 5th, 2011
12:09 pm

Okay, so what do we now say to all of the students who “cheated” on non-CRCT exams and received punishment?

Perhaps an Obama-bailout of their consequences?

Ben

July 5th, 2011
12:09 pm

“A culture of fear, intimidation and retalian existed in the APS”.

What is retalian? Does anyone spell check these articles. If you’re still crazy enough to turn your kids over to the government to be educated you deserve whatever you get. People who wouldn’t trust any unit of the government with a dime of their own money somehow believe that some group of self-serving bureaucrats and “educators” will do a good job of insuring their kids will not enter life as adults with a disadvantage after 12 years of indoctrination. Amazing.

arrgy

July 5th, 2011
12:10 pm

This is what you get when people’s jobs are on the line for a test. Think about it…

You give five tests with a month left in school (so you may not be able to get to all the standards or material that will be on the test) only two of the tests (math and reading) do the kids really care about. The test has 70 questions but only 60 of them count. If children fail to meet the targeted goals on these two tests or 120 questions you could lose your job. If not enough children even show up to take the tests, you could lose your job.

Ask our legislature and governor: How would you like your job to come down to 120 questions?

Too Disgusted

July 5th, 2011
12:10 pm

@ Kiljoy, you’re ABSOLUTELY correct. The fish rots from the head down. We all knew Beverly Hall was scandalous, but what about her team? What about all of those around her who passed her directives on to principals and teachers? WHERE is the justice for those of us who worked really hard to get our students to pass without cheating? We’re all caught in the midst of this madness which supercedes all of the teachers, principals, coaches, and parents who worked tirelessly to ensure that our “lower-income” students got the best educational experiences they could. It’s completely unfair that the “accountability” that was supposed to come from standardized testing does not apply to those in power with the largest paychecks!

CItyTeacher

July 5th, 2011
12:16 pm

As an APS teacher, this is completely embarrassing. We have enough problems earning the trust of many of our parents because of the way public education is attacked from all sides without anyone understanding the challenges that we endure. We really appreciate having this report make the majority of honest, hard-working teachers look like frauds. When we get these students we’re going to have to deal with their real deficiencies and make up for lost time. You would think that an educated professional would be able to make an honest decision rather than become completely enamored by a potential bonus. Is a one-time rise in pay really worth an entire career? Most of all, it’s my future students that have been hurt the most. Every year teaching is listed near the top of the list for respected professions. Now people are always going to question a person if they state they are an APS teacher. Good riddance to you Dr. Hall, Dr. Augustine, and any others that are on their exodus from APS. It’s funny how we’re willing to be angry about this occurring in education when this type of fraud is rampant in politics, which is the reason why these standards have been made, reformulated, and remade time and time again. Which is for the same reason, money.

Ralph

July 5th, 2011
12:23 pm

Underlying this is the misbegotten “No Child Left Behind” policy that forces schools to focus on standardized tests to the exclusion of all else.

Shame Shame Shame

July 5th, 2011
12:39 pm

Great role model for kids: lie, cheat, and hire a good lawyer if you get caught.

As a taxpayer, it makes me sick to my stomach that Hall earned $344,000 in 2009, and received a performance bonus of over $78,000. I want my tax dollars back.

Rob Woodall, man of the people...as long as the people are receiving free government healthcare while tryinig to force others to buy expensive, ineffective, private healthcatre

July 5th, 2011
12:59 pm

Is it just me or is the image of Governor Deal speaking on the unethical behavior of others just a little bit comical?

Good for you CityTeacher

July 5th, 2011
1:05 pm

I would give the general public some credit for understanding that honest hard working teachers and the students are the victims here. If we trust that this investigation was done properly, then the guilty are guilty, and they should be punished. But I think it would be a mistake, and I don’t think it will happen, that parents or school supporters will judge the whole system to be corrupt.

We knew about this in 2001

July 5th, 2011
1:12 pm

From the AJC waaaaaaaaay back in 2001:

“Of the 68 elementary schools tested last year, 30 had gains of 30 or more percentage points in one or more CRCT subjects. Ten of those had gains of 40 or more points.

“Either somebody is doing a terrific job at something or there’s something inappropriate going on, ” said Gregory Cizek, associate professor of educational measurement and evaluation at the University of North Carolina.

Some of the numbers are astonishing:

> At Dunbar Elementary School near downtown Atlanta, three-quarters of fourth-graders passed the reading portion of the test, compared to about one-quarter last year.

> At M.A. Jones Elementary in west Atlanta near the Atlanta University Center, 88 percent of fourth-graders passed in math compared to 34 percent the year before, a 54-point increase.

> At Thomasville Heights Elementary School in southeast Atlanta, 73 percent of fourth-grade students passed in reading, compared to 19 percent the year before.

Atlanta’s results are notable because many schools that posted huge gains have student populations that are almost entirely minority and low-income, groups whose test scores historically have lagged far behind. At several schools that posted huge gains, including Thomasville Heights and Cook Elementary schools, nearly all students live in public housing.

MULTIPLE SCHOOLS SHOW A FIFTY PERCENT INCREASE and nobody said ‘huh?’

Corde

July 5th, 2011
1:25 pm

Do you think they are the only ones? This is what you get in a country where education is devalued and a culture of testing is created. In this country, everything must come quick and easy, no effort,hard work or thought. Its no different with education… People think!!! This is beyond party politics. Bush’sNCLB is horrible but Obama’s silly Race to the Top is horrible also. Legislators create policies to fill the pockets of testing companies who are making a killing while children w/little academic support feom home and teachers with diminishing supplies,and support are expected to meet unre
alistic goals… Teachers and administrative jobs are put on the line for children who come to sixth grade reading on a third grade level. It takes time,strong effort,parent committment,materials,etc. to work with many of our public school children. Why do we think charter and private schools work? It is time for Americans to think and stop believing the propaganda about the urban teacher who comes and saves the little ignorant children of the ghetto. To educate children takes great effort,hard work,time,realistic goals,community building,etc. One year is not enough time to increase a 9th grader’s reading level from 5th grade to current level w/o school,parental and child committment. It is time for Americans to research,yes research various educational systems comparable to ours,stop pointing fingers and look at your household and community. Do you volunteer in the school? Do enable negative behavior from your child? Read betwen the lines and stop looking at the test score as a total measure. High test scores are many times a result of exposure,yes exposure oftentimes of parents who spent time reading to children when they were young,making sure homework is done and taking children on simple.field trips,example museums,zoo,etc. We,as Americans need to address the real hard issues. The system is not working,education is not a noble position anymore and has not been for a while due to our exteme comsumption values. We should not be surprised and it will only get worst. Sorry for bad grammar,typing on phone in backseat of car.)

Good Gubmit

July 5th, 2011
3:29 pm

Next shoe to drop is going to be the DeKalb County School System,. That one is coming sooner than anyone thinks.

Refugee from Dikkksie (Thank God We Escaped)

July 5th, 2011
5:01 pm

and the hits just keep on coming…

TeaRocker

July 5th, 2011
5:39 pm

Just waiting for the DeKalb investigation. I’d bet a bunch of money that DeKalb will prove to be even worse. Just wondering when someone will open a case and end the corruption in DeKalb County School System and Board.

jm

July 5th, 2011
10:48 pm

TeaRocker: I was in DeKalb. I never did it, I never saw it, but I knew it was coming. When NCLB came along, teachers said that if jobs were on the line they’d cheat, they’d tell the kids the answers on the EOCTs (High school End of Course Test). It’s not about bonuses – its about jobs. NCLB treats kids like machine parts in a factory….treats teachers like factory workers. Think about it…you work in a factory and you have to get 30 parts done flawlessly in an hour (30 kids to pass the CRCT in a year). Lets say you get 25 done, 10 of them are screwed up because they were messed up when you got them. Your boss comes and asks you how many of your parts are within spec, and you know if you say anything less than 30 you’re fired. You figure he’s not going to check the box, so you say “35, sir.” and hope he moves on to the next guy. Seriously – as a teacher you know pretty quick which kids are going to pass the CRCT, which ones are going to struggle…so you nudge them along with the answers. I would never do it, many of my colleagues would never dream of it, but I know a few who would.