It’s not the students who cheated in Atlanta. It’s the teachers. And the principals:
Prosecutors are weighing whether to file any criminal charges against 178 Atlanta teachers and principals who state investigators said had cheated on standardized tests to inflate student scores.
The cheating in 2009, found in 44 of the 56 Atlanta public schools examined, was prompted primarily by pressure to meet targets in a data-driven environment, a statement released by Governor Nathan Deal’s office said.
“A culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation existed in Atlanta Public Schools, which created a conspiracy of silence,” the state report concluded. The 2009 cheating was said to include teachers erasing incorrect answers on state standardized tests.
Deal’s office said on Wednesday that the decision of whether or not to prosecute would be up to district attorneys in the three Georgia counties where the educators live. . . .
Eighty-two teachers and principals have confessed to the cheating, according to the state report. Deal’s office said six principals refused to answer questions.
“These principals, and 32 more, either were involved with or should have known that there was test cheating in their schools,” the investigation found.
The report concluded that there was a “major failure of leadership throughout Atlanta Public Schools with regard to the ethical administration” of the 2009 standardized exams known as the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests.
Cheating occurred as early as 2001, and warnings several years ago of misconduct were ignored, the report said.
I know what is going to happen: The educators will blame the standardized testing required by the “No Child Left Behind” law. But what they were really doing was masking their own failures to teach their young students how to read and write.