Friday, July 8, 2011

Atlanta burns again

(cross-posted on Saltzafrazz)

A massive cheating scandal is rocking the Atlanta school district. A widespread and systematic effort to cheat on standardized tests has been uncovered. It included teachers, principals, staff, and superintendents. In some cases, they literally erased the kids' answers and replaced them with the correct ones.
Teachers and principals erased and corrected mistakes on students’ answer sheets.

Area superintendents silenced whistle-blowers and rewarded subordinates who met academic goals by any means possible.

Superintendent Beverly Hall and her top aides ignored, buried, destroyed or altered complaints about misconduct, claimed ignorance of wrongdoing and accused naysayers of failing to believe in poor children’s ability to learn.

For years — as long as a decade — this was how the Atlanta school district produced gains on state curriculum tests. The scores soared so dramatically they brought national acclaim to Hall and the district, according to an investigative report released Tuesday by Gov. Nathan Deal.

You can see the gains in this chart I posted several months ago, where Georgia raised its scores on the national test NEAP dramatically:

Click to embiggen.

It should also be noted that Georgian schools s*^%! If you line up all the states according to their various NEAP scores, Georgia would come in between 33 and 40 just about every time. They do a little better with English Language learners, where they rank around 20, even breaking into the second quintile with a rank of 17 for 4th grade math proficiency.

They s(%& even with the cheating scandal. Atlanta makes up just better than 4% of the population of Georgia. If the scores from the APS system are bogus, that means Georgia did even worse than everyone thought.

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