Monday, October 19, 2009

CRCT cheating hurts children and society

Well, as the (thankfully still investigative) AJC is reporting, there are at least 19 other schools, mostly in the Atlanta Public School System, who appear to have altered answers or otherwise cheated on the CRCTs. I am personally disgusted by this kind of activity, the motivation for which is only to protect and promote teachers and administrators. (Each teacher at a school that meets testing targets gets a $2,000 bonus in APS.) The substantial losers are the children. There is no worse crime a teacher can commit against a child than allowing that child and their parents to think that the child is doing very well, when in fact, the child may be failing - even to the point of illiteracy. Children know in their hearts that they aren't processing the material, so when they are told otherwise, a conflict arises in their head and they begin an internal struggle that if acknowledged, could be corrected, but if denied, will only fester into a horrible sense of self-worth. If children are struggling, we need to catch it as early as possible and provide intervention. Lying to a child about their abilities to save one's job or worse, to get a promotion, should be met with swift, strong punishment.

What kind of example is this setting for our youth? Although there aren't many stories about teachers cheating nationally, there are news stories all over the country about students cheating on tests. At one school system in Columbus, Ohio some seniors hacked into a teachers file folder and retrieved test answers -- so many seniors either cheated or knew about the cheating but failed to report it that the school actually cancelled the graduation ceremony. But when we don't proscecute teachers and administrators who change test answers in order to make themselves look good, are we not holding the cheating up as admirable? What about the state of our economy in the U.S. - how will we as a society survive this era of dishonesty and personal advancement regardless of the cost to others? Our society cannot survive with a high level of cheating and greed. The big picture that results from the act of cheating is frightening for us all.


Cerebration said...

From the Get Schooled blog -

In response to an AJC query into miraculous gains in her school’s scores on state tests, Capitol View Elementary principal Arlene Snowden had a great answer:

“We accept no excuses from our children.”

Paula Caldarella said...

“We accept no excuses from our children.”

Well, gee that explains it.

So, how does Beverly Hall spin this one? She tried to just deny last year's accusation, but now there are multiple schools involved.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher and parent I find that most children today lie. I think in our society as adults it is ok to lie also. I have always been taught that if you will lie you will cheat. I do not know if this is true or not. However, if it is our values as a society needs some ajusting.

Cerebration said...

Interesting article at "Atlanta Unfiltered"

Beverly Hall, ATL school superintendent: $400,298

Lean times have forced unpaid furloughs and reduced bonuses on some educators, but they haven’t hit Beverly Hall’s pocketbook. She will earn more than $400,000 this year in salary, bonuses and other benefits, including a car.
The Atlanta Board of Education voted last month to award Hall a bonus of $78,115 on top of her $279,985 base salary.

Cerebration said...

As the Champion reported yesterday,
Former principal pleads guilty to falsifying test answers at Atherton Elementary

Former Atherton Elementary School Principal James Berry pleaded guilty to falsifying state documents – his students’ state-standardized tests, more specifically – this month and received two years probation and a fine, officials said.

The final year of Berry’s probation is suspended, his attorney, Jackie Patterson, said. He must also pay a $1,000 fine. Under the state’s First Offender Act, Berry will also be able to say he’s never been charged with a felony provided he complies with the terms of his probation, Patterson said. The law allows the court to decide when the act is applicable.

Berry was charged with a felony and could have received up to 10 years in prison, according to a statement from the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office.

Through Patterson, Berry declined comment.

There's more! To read the entire article click the link above.

katsbabygrl said...

PLEASE, can I have the source information for this cartoon? I would love to use the cartoon for a visual essay about cheating. But, I must have the artist's name and date of publication. Thank you!