Almost two weeks after Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (R) released a report last week that detailed evidence of cheating on the state test in the Atlanta Public School System (APS), parents are still left to wonder who will be held responsible for these appalling actions.
The report found that 44 of APS’s 56 schools – or 78.6 percent of the schools in Atlanta – had teachers or principals collect students’ test, check their work, and correct wrong answers before submitting the tests for the official grading process. In fact, of the 44 schools where widespread cheating occurred, 38 principals were found to be “responsible for, or directly involved in” cheating.
Cheating was so commonplace to APS that at Gideons Elementary, teachers took tests from school and held weekend “changing parties” at a teacher’s home in Douglas County to correct answers.
This systemic cheating is not just immoral – when a failing child’s scores are fraudulently inflated, that child will be denied the remedial education they should have received – but it is illegal.
So how has the teaching community responded to this outrageous behavior? Have they condemned the cheating? Have they vowed to make certain that each of the cheating teachers and administrators lose their jobs or be held legally responsible for their actions?
Georgia Association of Educators(GAE) President Calvine Rollins said that the association membership was “very troubled” by the findings but immediately reminded the public that most teachers did not cheat and that their reputations should not be “tainted” by the actions of those who did cheat.
And for those who did cheat? The GAE is “confident that the investigation’s findings will be fair and that punishment will be sensitive to the environment of intimidation that was said to have existed.”
Michael D. Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, heading research into a variety of domestic policies with particular emphasis on health care reform, welfare policy, and Social Security. His most recent white paper, "Bad Medicine: A Guide to the Real Costs and Consequences of the New Health Care Law," provides a detailed examination of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and what it means to taxpayers, workers, physicians, and patients.
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