The huge standardized test cheating scandal in Atlanta — and beyond. Teachers cheating to bump up student scores. Why, and what it says about the state of American education.
Shame and outrage over the Atlanta Public Schools last week, as a big state investigation laid out findings of massive, systemic cheating –- by teachers.
Teachers changing student scores on standardized tests, to make their schools look better than they were.
Not subtle cheating, but gross, flagrant, eraser-on-the-page cheating. Weekend pizza parties where teachers went through stacks of standardized tests, erasing wrong answers, filling in right ones.
And there’s evidence this hasn’t only happened in Atlanta.
This hour On Point: testing, American education, and the message in the cheating.
Alan Judd, reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Shawnna Hayes-Tavares, mother of four children, ranging from 9 to 18, all of whom have been in the Atlanta Public Schools system.
Greg Toppo, K-12 education reporter for USA Today.
Daniel Koretz, professor of education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. You can read an article based on his book Measuring Up here.
From Tom’s Reading List:
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “The head of Atlanta Public Schools promised an impartial inquiry into reports of cheating on state achievement tests. Recusing herself, Superintendent Beverly Hall declared the investigation would be conducted by “a respected outside organization.”
- USA Today: “A state probe has found that teachers and principals in dozens of Atlanta public schools doctored students’ test papers — the latest scandal involving the high-stakes world of standardized testing in the nation’s school systems.”
- USA Today: “A USA TODAY investigation, based on documents and data secured under D.C.’s Freedom of Information Act, found that for the past three school years most of Noyes’ classrooms had extraordinarily high numbers of erasures on standardized tests. The consistent pattern was that wrong answers were erased and changed to right ones.”
- USA Today: “In several grades, standardized test scores at Seipelt fluctuated year to year, sometimes rising sharply, then falling, according to data USA TODAY obtained from the Ohio Department of Education.”
- New York Times: “A culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation existed in the district, which led to a conspiracy of silence, he said in a prepared statement. “There will be consequences,” Mr. Deal said.”
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “The state launched investigations into test-cheating in Atlanta Public Schools after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published analyses in 2008 and 2009 that found suspiciously high gains on the state Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT).”
Here’s a video report on the Atlanta scandal: