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Old 07-05-2011, 12:40 PM  
mohel
 
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Atlanta educators falsified tests

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http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/07/05/georgia.school.cheating/
Dozens of Atlanta educators falsified tests, state report confirms
By the CNN Wire Staff




Quote:
Atlanta (CNN) -- Dozens of Atlanta public school educators falsified students test answers or failed to address such misconduct in their schools, Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday in unveiling the results of a state investigation that confirmed widespread cheating in the city schools dating as far back as 2001.
"When test results are falsified and students who have not mastered the necessary material are promoted, our students are harmed, parents lose sight of their child's true progress, and taxpayers are cheated," Deal said at a news conference.
Investigators identified 178 teachers and principals working at 44 schools who were either directly involved in erasing wrong answers on a key standardized test or who knew or should have known about what was happening, according to Deal's office. Of those, 82 acknowledged involvement, according to the report.
The cheating was brought to light after marked improvements in the district's performance on the 2009 statewide Criterion-Referenced Competency test revealed a pattern of incorrect test answers being erased and replaced with correct answers.
A spokesman for the Atlanta Public Schools said district officials would have no comment until a 2 p.m. news conference.
The report, nearly a year in the making, has been forwarded to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission for possible action against educators, Deal said. The commission licenses teachers in Georgia.
Some of the misconduct could lead to criminal charges, Deal said.
"We are turning the report over to the district attorneys in the jurisdictions that we think may have some interest in the report's findings," he said.
The full text of the report was not released. Deal said it was being withheld pending consultation with the state Attorney General's office.
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:11 PM  
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I'm surprised there are more responses to this. I was a teacher--in DeKalb and Savannah Chatham systems. This sort of thing really concerns me-it comes from the top down --always. A thorough housecleaning is long overdue.
Money is always a factor--in order to qualify for federal funds standards must be met. I don't know how the test results were modified. I know that during testing I did not have access to my students' answer sheets--nor did I monitor my own class during the test. Counselors and other administrators had access to the answer sheets.
I hope criminal charges are filed against the top level administrators--Superintendent and right on down. Certificate revocation should also be a consequence. And the APS should be under strict monitoring by the state and possibly the Mayor of Atlanta should take charge of this blight on the city's reputation.

DeKalb is still searching for a new superintendent. Former superintendent, Crawford Lewis, is facing criminal charges for malfeasance ---building contracts were given to a relative's construction firm, IIRC.

http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/dpp/news...d-lewis-080310

http://georgiateachersspeakout.com/2...perintendents/
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:38 PM  
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~~~~~~~~~~
I didn't read all of this blog---'Set Unrealistic Test Scores and People Will Either Fail or Cheat'---
the real issue is the lack of support for students who start life with disadvantages. In Savannah-Chatham the children from the projects were reguarded by many teachers as lost causes before they even had a chance to experience success in school. A minister's wife that worked with me said, of a student with behavioral issues, living in Bethesda Children's Home, 'I wouldn't let that put its feet under my table.'
I nearly died --but that is not unusual in Savannah. Kids were not remediated, retained year after year if they couldn't master objectives. By middle school many read at a 3rd grade level and received no services---remedial reading or support from school counselors. They gave up---and sat in the desks waiting to tur 16 and drop out--or they were behavioral problems and were suspended for long periods of time. How Savannah Chatham has kept from being scrutinized by the State is something that puzzles me. Actually, it doesn't, I know something of the internal workings and one of my coworkers became the head of HR---they stay on top of regulations and I suppose that is good---things that are questionable still go on --I saw for myself.
Here is the blog---
Set unrealistic test score quotas and people will either fail or cheat | Get Schooled

I know in DeKalb County--!970--to the late 80's---very high standards of integrity and ethical conduct were the norm for employees. If a student had problems, every effort was made to identify and remediate the problems. At least at my school---perhaps not every school--but you would not have lasted long if you had not had the interest of children as your primary focus in DeKalb County in that era. Internally teachers identify the rotten apples---someone is always wataching and like a beehive --people talk amongst themselves and then get administrators involved.

shrug--glad to be out of it---but teachers don't have much excuse if they enter the profession and don't view it as an opportunity to prepare the future citizens for whatever life may bring. I certainly wouldn't have been able to live with myself, as a human being if I had not done all I could to facilitate academic growth and instill values that would lead to productive lives.

It is a tough job---and not for those who just want a paycheck. jmo.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:10 PM  
mohel
 
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Quote:
A minister's wife that worked with me said, of a student with behavioral issues, living in Bethesda Children's Home, 'I wouldn't let that put its feet under my table.'
I nearly died --but that is not unusual in Savannah. Kids were not remediated, retained year after year if they couldn't master objectives. By middle school many read at a 3rd grade level and received no services
That's beyond sad addy, glad you're out of it now but we all need to be part of changing attitudes that cripple children's futures. Atlanta has been the South's center of culture so it has few excuses.
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Old 07-24-2011, 02:54 PM  
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Originally Posted by blucher View Post
That's beyond sad addy, glad you're out of it now but we all need to be part of changing attitudes that cripple children's futures. Atlanta has been the South's center of culture so it has few excuses.
This occurred in Savannah--I suppose they feel they have an 'excuse'--'It has always been this way'--that might be the reasoning.

Very different, imo, from Atlanta. Cliqueish/Classist. We/They mentality.

Of course, we have that in Atlanta. 'People'--love to find the dirt--I suppose--when I found myself caught up in that I was so disgusted with myself I couldn't stand it.

I like this saying--'No one can make you feel inferior without your consent'. They can try--and some will--like chickens--pick, pick, pick at anything they can find to criticize. How you actually find common ground with such people is a good question.

Take charge of your life and have interests that make it meaningful--friends and family are wonderful but in my case I found that life couldn't revolve around that.

I won't get caught in that trap again. 'He who gossips with you will gossip about you'--truer words were never spoken. A friendship based on common hates is a very bad idea. The memories make me cringe. Others seem to be less affected but it was a turning point in my life.
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:03 PM  
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13 principals in APS have resigned.
13 principals named in cheating scandal leave APS ?| ajc.com

I heard an interview the other day--it seemed to be a businessman. He said the business community was 'absolutely shocked'--had believed the APS was making progress --'That is what we were told, etc'.

For years--members of the community have known that only a few schools in APS were effective.

Members of the business community also know that there is a particular area of Atlanta that needs to be thoroughly cleaned out--crime spreads from this area and no, the kids that live in the area aren't progressing academically.

Anyone who pretends not to know this needs some sort of reality therapy.

I haven't kept up with all that happened in the D.C. schools but there were consequences and there are going to be some consequences in Atlanta--probably every city of comparable size in the nation. I hear the LA school system and many others in CA are in absolute chaos. Hope they can work things out--I've heard some incredible stories---and not good ones.
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Old 07-24-2011, 05:00 PM  
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As for my personal experiences I feel that I was a fool.

Racism was/is still real in some parts of the South. I grew up in a suburb not far from a large university. From the time I started school in the early 50's we were taught good values. That is what the community supported. I knew that it was wrong to be unkind to others for any reason--I didn't know exactly why African Americans were 'hated'---my relatives in a more rural area would make crude comments that sounded 'bad' to me.

They never have exactly explained how they came to feel this way--regular church goers, etc--but I didn't want to be that sort of person--it didn't make sense.

Then came the more militant 70's and serious problems arose over inequality--Federal lawsuits against school systems and monitoring, including massive paperwork were required to document every decision. You could no longer hug a child without concern that a legal incident would result--things like that.


I taught on a team with 3 African American women. 2 of the teachers had been recruited from elementary---I suppose they were found to have exceptional skills that would be utilized more fully in middle school. They were competent teachers---one taught Math and the other Social Science. I later found out that the Social Science teacher had wanted Language Arts and the man I replaced had insisted that he be allowed to teach that subject. I would have enjoyed Social Science---a lot less paperwork for one thing. The other teachers would leave each day around 3:30 PM---the normal end of the day for teachers at this school--it began at 7:30--and we started at 7AM.

I was there until 5 or 6 PM each evening---preparing for the next day. 4 or 5 classes--25+ students per class. Most were functioning well below grade level--no support services in this system for remediation.

Truly a nearly impossible challenge and I wish I had just said--'No'. Contractually, I had no choice--if I wanted a job.

I can't change the color of my skin---and something is wrong if you cannot perform a job because of your skin color. That will never be brought to light.

I wish I had the determination of the Federal employee who fought her case to the bitter end. There was 'nothing' I could do--resign and find another career.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resigna...hirley_Sherrod

Shirley Sherrod---certainly there is a good ol' boy system in parts of the South---but to be included in the hatred of such people is a bit extreme. That is sometimes the reality---what this did to my family is a story that will never be told. I will continue to live my life my my values--I am somewhat civilized --even if this seems to be beyond others--for all kinds of reasons. A young man and his partner discussed me as we waited in line to check out at Walmart--rude, yes. 'She seems tired--must be that purse'---'I feel sorry for old people that have to come to Walmart.' I finally told him to shut his mouth---just be as crude as you want to be---then don't complain when others treat you the same.

Yes, I was tired---I have health problems from a high level of stress---it took a lot of work to pull myself back together but I did it. So if a 20 yr old in Walmart must make smart remarks--I suppose I can recover from that, too.

The US is said to be a 'Youth Oriented Culture'--which is fine--if common courtesy is still a value that is included in the standards of the culture. I suppose some exercise 'freedom of speech'--I am 'Me'--I can say whatever pops into my head--no need to think first. hurray---Most people aren't like this, thankfully--but the few seem to wield considerable power.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:08 AM  
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30 schools in my district failed to meet AYP standards.

Highest in the metro area.

http://www.ajc.com/news/more-georgia...s-1032762.html

'But he said excelling on the tests is a challenge for a student who is still learning English or is facing trouble at home. “We have students who are struggling with where they are going to get their next meal," Arnold said. "They may not be worried about getting every question on the test right.”'

So what is to be done? Budget cuts have reduced supplementary programs---increased class sizes. You can't just 'command' the teachers to improve test scores---not if you face reality. What is the answer---does anyone know--I don't--that is verifiable.
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