Aug 1, 2011
Georgia state investigators found that dozens of Atlanta public school teachers and principals have been altering student answer sheets on state-mandated tests since 2001. Apparently, district officials not only knew about the systematic cheating, but encouraged it. In fact, district higher-ups retaliated against and even fired teachers who reported the cheating.
This scandal is not the first of its kind. Some other large school districts, including Houston which George Bush once pointed to as a model, were also caught “cheating.”
Teachers said that they were under enormous pressure to raise test scores. Under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law, passed during the Bush presidency, schools have to improve their test scores every year – an impossible goal under the best of circumstances. And today, because of government cuts in education funding, the schools are choked for money, supplies, text books and classroom space.
Nonetheless, Republicans and Democrats have joined together to keep NCLB in place – and state officials have used its unreasonable requirements to close down schools in working-class neighborhoods, jamming more kids into fewer public classrooms.
Is there cheating going on in the public school system? Absolutely. State and federal officials are cheating workers’ children of an education.