There’s definite benefit in measuring school performance to determine whether a school system is performing up to expected levels. Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCTs) are conducted annually to measure student performance and, in turn, to report on school proficiency. Federal education grants, Teacher and administration salaries are often influenced by CRCTs.

Atlanta teachers say, don't cheat...we will

Atlanta teachers say, don't cheat...we will

Monday Atlanta Public School Superintendent Erroll Davis removed 6 senior educators of their responsibilities after a state report found widespread cheating conducted in dozens of Atlanta schools.  The cheating wasn’t student cheating, but teacher cheating; what a great message this sends!

School board member, and the last Chairman, Khaatim El, suddenly resigned, suggesting that the problem may go back through numerous school board administrations.

The report, released just last week by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, found that officials at as many as 45 Atlanta elementary and middle schools cheated on the annual student-performance tests.

Former Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall, who retired last month as head of the 48,000-student district, reportedly created a culture of fear, pressuring faculty and administrators into accepting ever-increasing achievement targets and turning a blind eye to the way those goals were achieved.

Davis replaced 4 area superintendents saying, “I will do everything in my power to ensure that anyone implicated in the report will not be back in a classroom.” Davis also replaced the principals at 2 year-round elementary schools, which begin classes last Wednesday.

In a tear-filled farewell address Monday, El said the leadership of the city had failed the district’s children, and he was leaving the board because he, too, had failed to protect them. El had been expected to remain on the board after stepping aside as chairman last month to try to defuse some of the infighting on the nine-member body.

El had been warning the city for more than a year that Atlanta’s political power elite and the downtown business community had been, as he has described them, protecting Hall in order to cover up the cheating.

El stated, “I take no solace in knowing my disbeliefs have been confirmed by the governor’s report. I failed to protect thousands of children, children who came from homes like mine.”

El said Atlanta’s and Georgia’s elected leaders, and business leaders, “sold out generations of children for the sake of an image and the perception of success.”

The depth of the scandal is just starting to unravel. Atlanta’s school board clearly took the position that it was better to make the school system look better than the actual education of the children of Atlanta. It is likely this scandal will grow and it begs the question; if this is going on in the public schools of Atlanta, how many other school systems in the country are failing the kids, but unscrupulous educators have altered the results to protect their own careers?