Sorry I’ve been off the grid for a while! Here’s my TIME.com post this morning on the real scandal behind the Atlanta public schools cheating scandal. If you care about what’s going wrong in our education of children, you might be interested in some of my earlier pieces, all collected here in one handy location, as well as other posts/columns here, here, and here.
One of the biggest ironies of the Atlanta public schools testing scandal — in which 35 educators have been indicted on racketeering, theft, and corruption charges for artificially inflating students’ test results — is that the faked scores prevented some schools from accessing three quarters of a million dollars in federal money to support struggling learners because they no longer qualified for help. The impact on individual children was devastating. One mother quoted in the Atlanta Journal Constitution described her fruitless search for reading support for her nine-year-old daughter who was performing at the bottom of her reading group. The child’s phony test score showed improvement, so now, in high school, she reads only at a fifth-grade level.
Current Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Erroll B. Davis has called for mandatory ethics training for all staff and increased security measures, such as “locked safe rooms, tighter chains-of-custody, and clearer test protocols to prevent improprieties and tampering.” Schools with suspicious improvements will trigger automatic audits, he says, in order to, “ensure that our assessments serve children, not adults.”
But this is a little like arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. We need a deeper examination of the root causes of this disaster…
Continued at: http://ideas.time.com/2013/04/02/whats-really-scandalous-about-the-school-testing-scandal/#ixzz2PJYx0kTl