Cheating on state school tests

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Bonkers
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Most days one can read in the AJC about the developing scandal around the Atlanta area schools who had far too many erasures on the tests they took to try and ascertain if they were learning what they should.
The infighting seems to be more about how such erasures could have occurred at so many places without management being aware of it.than just to quickly determine the reasons and take appropriate actions.
The more responsible people are still arguing that it is possible that nothing wrong occurred.
Now, I'm no genius but it seems to be it couldn't take over two weeks or less to determine what really happened and stop trying to find a way out so no award winners or grown-ups get blamed and fired.....retired maybe but not fired!
I know that Georgia makes it hard for any local, or state employee to be fired and just keep the best ones. Law suits would occur, so negotiations must occur!
How you say could it be resolved:
Well, just ask 10-15 kids at each school what happened and assure them they are in no trouble---even if they changed some of the answers under instruction to do so. We all know no kid changed numerous answers without being urged to do so. This could be witnessed by unconcerned people so that no other suggested answers be given.
It seems that some of the parents don't want it investigated just in case it did happen! Hard to understand that, isn't it.
Another way would be to retest the kids and compare the results---no erasures allowed unless the kid asks and is allowed or not.
Teachers and aids also need to be interviewed on a random basis.
I am sure the answer would be there quickly.
I feel no one wants the truth. Only the kids suffer.

.

Bonkers
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CRCT school tests: a follow up

The Atlanta area, of particular importance, is about to give these tests again to students.
They have been "studying" sample tests and have been being taught similar answers to test questions.
Are we now studying to pass general knowledge tests or maybe just one known test?
I can not believe that so many officials, parents, and teachers want the whole scandal dropped and start over! Those who did and who ordered these things must be fired.
Unless this one is rigged, it should be easy to see if cheating occurre before. Unless!!!

normal
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no need to fire

We must move on and make things better. To dwell on the past just to get even for mistakes made is a waste. So lets stop always trying to nail people to the cross over some silly event. If you want to work at something worth while try to fix the government. See if you can get them to stop pissing away all of our money. They steal it and then spend it. Then keep coming back to steal more. That bonkers is a job for you. Fix it and let us know how you did it.

Courthouserules
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AJC pages on the tests

It becomes harder and harder to think that a National School Superintendent winner of an award for test scores improving in Atlanta is still trying everything in the book to close out the investigation and only look at the "good" things that have occurred!
So far she has "transferred" numerous Principals (just as school starts)and has fired no one to my knowledge.
Details emerging show that students were told answers and kept tests overnight to change the answers.
The Super once indicated that she wasn't convinced that students didn't change their own answers on their own!

When the top leaders of such a place as Atlanta (and others) push hard for their instructors and principals to improve test scores dramatically when they KNOW that those students are not being taught sufficiently to pass, then cheating comes to life!

Yet they continue to hire most of the top officials in everything in Atlanta with the same heritage beliefs as they have had before!
They are incapable of properly discipling those who need to be. When there is an attitude of, "my kid deserves to pass, he has been disadvantaged," then no solution will occur. They all feel the same way about crime!

We are never going to solve our "trailer trash," and "minority" school and crime problems until we admit that we have allowed them to fail. Now we are cheating for them on tests which were to avoid passing students who shouldn't be passed.

Davids mom
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Courhouserules/cheating

They all feel the same way about crime!

When we include all minorities and trailer trash in the same sentence - it solves nothing. What can be done to change this 'culture' of false success in our schools, our Boards of Education, our Media, our local and national politics? Houston - there's a problem! When we cease to fear actually discussing it - and begin to seek reasonable solutions (establish standards that are adhered to; have high expectations for all involved; etc.) - maybe the 'culture' will change. I'm appalled at the results of the 'cheating scandal'. The ones who are really 'hurt' are the students. Inflated grades in any educational system are a CRIME. The State Superintendent needs to be looked at also. Georgia is at the bottom of the states in academic achievement. Why? Don't fall back on the excuse of 'too many trailer trash, minority, non-English speaking students in public schools. There will be citizens in Georgia fighting the state's participation in 'national standards' - using the excuse of 'states rights'. It's not a state's right to maintain a lower achievement standard for the children of the citizens of that state. If our standards are not 'nationalized' for all Americans - our students will not be able to compete in the global job market. If only one set of 'history facts' are taught to students in certain states, they will be penalized in college for not being conversant in the facts of history - because they were not exposed to all facets of history. I'm saddened when I listen to the debate of 'conservative' vs. 'liberal' history. A well-educated citizen should be exposed to all historical 'theories/interpretations’. . . .and then given the research tools to ascertain the facts. Georgia, being near the bottom - does not mean that the educational offerings here are that much less than other states. Our American students in the last 20 years - are scoring behind the students in some of the Asian and European countries. One of the reasons for this is the denigration of the teaching profession in the United States. Our brightest and best should be in our classrooms teaching our future. Citizens living in Fayette County should give thanks daily for the quality of education offered here in the Fayette County public school system. We also should be just as concerned that our teachers and administrators know that we expect any test given in Fayette County to truly measure what has been taught in the classroom. . .and LEARNED by the student.

Courthouserules
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DM

It seems that Fayette County does teach what is on the tests, considering the scores.

Are you saying that the cheating schools DO NOT teach what is on the tests?
Or, is it that the students simply can't learn due to past "passing them on?"
The Atlanta Superintendent said herself that they had been working on the problem for eleven years and had made great progress! If they had then past teaching should not be the problem unless it is going to take 22 years!

Ever consider the possibility that the teachers hired are not qualified, and possibly not supervised well? Yet, after eleven years?

Frankly, so little is expected of some students at home, the students don't even try since no one guides them well. Can't study on the street nor at home if there is no where to study.
So many households have no Father at home and many also have strangers there, all of which is not conducive to learning.
Until some of these problems are resolved, we are wasting our time.
I still suggest that until we can solve the problems we have now that we "sort" those failing and teach them a trade so that they can make a good living. Most everyone used to quit at 16 or 7th grade who weren't interested in school or whose parents didn't care, but they could farm in those days.
There are not many farm jobs now.

Davids mom
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CHR

Are we sure that what is on the test is what our students need to know for the future?

Everyone with a BA or MA is not necessarily qualified to 'teach'. That is part of the problem. In 'disadvantaged' areas, students who were confronted with high expectations and no excuses for failure - achieved. (Dolly Parton), the young black males who were all accepted in four year colleges; etc., etc., etc. They were held to the same standard that all students should be held to. The 'secret'?? - they had parental and community support. In some areas, that means an influx of dedicated mentors and volunteers is needed to make up for the lack of parental support.

It is not a waste of time to encourage a child to become a lifelong learner. . . and to be enthusiastic about education. I had a student who seemed only interested in 'fixing bicycles'. (He did have a supportive family) His interest in bicycles was encouraged - and he went on to graduate from UCLA. (He lived in a disadvantaged area - and if the expectations had been lowered, he probably would not have achieved at a high academic level. I say - don't give up - get mentors and volunteers in those classrooms/libraries/ community centers. There are underachievers in our rural and urban areas that are not achieving at their highest academic level. We cannot assume a child’s potential by his/her class, race, etc. All Americans should be held to a high standard in our country. Every student will not go to a four-year college – but there are so many opportunities in our country to achieve a marketable skill. Crime and drugs should not be that attractive to too many of our young people.

Courthouserules
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DM

I read your latest one first.

I'm sorry but you make flowering statements about expecting good (highest standards) from everyone, and then say they need ALL KINDS OF MENTORS AND CHURCH GROUPS, AND, AND.... Is "expecting" and getting two things?

I don't know what "crime and drugs......" means at the end.

I felt the lady from the GA Agriculture Department also spoke in riddles and made excuses and wished for everyone to ignore mistakes after mistakes by those who fail.
There may have been "context" missing in her "let's laugh awhile" statements, but she meant them. She also wasn't in the business of helping farmers--she had another job, and she was a black "organizer," not associated with the State earlier.
She rubbed the wrong spots too much, too long.
You are tending to try that also with incomprehensible writing.

Spit it out clearly and truthfully.

Davids mom
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An afterthought CHR

Are you saying that the cheating schools DO NOT teach what is on the tests?
Or, is it that the students simply can't learn due to past "passing them on?"
The Atlanta Superintendent said herself that they had been working on the problem for eleven years and had made great progress! If they had then past teaching should not be the problem unless it is going to take 22 years!

No- that is not what I'm saying. (However there was a time when Georgia was testing students on information that they had not received - because it was not in the grade level curriculum.) I think that problem has been solved, and the test and curriculum is now aligned - I hope. Another reality is that schools in urban areas are seldom comparing the same students from one grade level to another due to a high transiency rate in many of the inner cities in our country. In school districts that have seen improvement - test-taking skills were taught throughout the year - NOT THE TEST! THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR ADULTS CHEATING! But the pressure of job security related to ONE TEST is not an honest evaluation of the educational program in a classroom. I agree that the achievement of students is not based solely on what happens in the classroom. We talk about the other factors that are important – but if all of those factors are not present – we aren’t taking the steps to assist those students in overcoming the lack of ‘perfection’ – to achieve at their highest level. It seems to me that we’re rightly concerned about the next generation’s financial situation – but it appears at the expense of the next generation’s education. Oh well.

Courthouserules
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DM

I understand your last two words: "Oh well"

I undrstand practically nothing of the rest of your blurb!

I think you said one place that teachers should not be judged by tests! Maybe students shouldn't either.

What does "at their highest level" mean? The best they can do, maybe.

Anyway, the "teaching the test" stuff is stupid.

Fred Garvin
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Fire the Teachers

The teachers that changed the tests should be fired. That is the only way to solve this problem. There are plenty of good people out there that would love to have their job that are not crooks.

Davids mom
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CHR

I understand your last two words: "Oh well"

I doubt it!! :-) Have a nice night - sorry my words are incomprehensible to you. Sometimes educators do speak 'educationese'.

Courthouserules
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DM

Of all people, teachers shouldn't speak uncleanly!

As do many PhDs, they use flowery words to present three or four answers to every problem, many in conflict, but they propose them as choices that are better! Confusing to most people who are pragmatists. Many choices made in the past about a subject were incorrect and if not presented as probably incorrect, they can be taken as a good choice.

Doctorese and educationese and politicalese are used to convince others of superiority often.

Davids mom
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CHR

Thank you. You've convinced me that you are not one who considers him/herself superior.

Courthouserules
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DM

Now see? You are doing it again!
Just say: No one will ever accuse you of being superior. Or, obviously us superior people who can baffle them to death with BS talk, will eventually either win or tie any argument if we agree to shut up!