April 2, 2015
Big news on the arrest of educators and administrators changing test results in Atlanta, Georgia to gain approvals and bonuses. This “Test” has been a universal problem leading to controversy and operational failures in methods and results. The Los Angeles Times reports in “Atlanta schools cheating scandal: 11 educators convicted of racketeering” on the exposing of fraud within education.
“Wednesday with a jury finding 11 Atlanta elementary school teachers and administrators guilty of taking part in a racketeering conspiracy to illegally boost students’ test scores. Some of the educators face up to 35 years in prison. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry W. Baxter said, noting that throughout the trial he had tried to persuade defendants of the seriousness of the charges. “They are now convicted felons, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t like to send anyone to jail … but they have made their bed and they’re going to lie in it.”
“Ten of the convicted educators were led out of the courtroom in handcuffs. One, who is pregnant and weeks from her delivery date, was allowed to remain free on bond. After eight days of deliberation, jurors in the landmark case found 11 of 12 defendants guilty of violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a charge that carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.”
Assigning reward to testing leads to compromise. The nature of humans is to induce the best situation for their success. The idea to establish bonuses to the actions of others i.e. student performance leads to Glengarry Glen Ross model- looking for the good leads and “Always Be Closing”. The use of a sales application in an education model creates competition and a winner take all approach. This approach is unsustainable!
In testing our students there are no good leads just hard work, accountability and good old fashion teaching. Why is this not rewarded with better pay. Consider the test in our global ranking of education. This is the insight to be weighed and the U.S. The U.S. is not winning.