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View Diary: Atlanta Schools Chief Indicted for Racketeering in Test Cheating Scandal (24 comments)

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  •  I not sure it helps to conflate the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, worldlotus, Be Skeptical

    two scandals.

    What is alleged to have happened in Atlanta is the erasure and changing of test answers and possible intimidation of subordinates. Those other activities happened in Texas.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:11:49 AM PDT

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    •  Sorry I thought we were discussing the general (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lily O Lady, Just Bob, stivo

      idea of testing in schools.

      How testing someone never taught anyone but only gives us general information.

      How testing being used as the sole measure of the number of facts (widgets) being moved down the conveyor belt of education might be problematic.

      But then Texas and Georgia should never be used in the same comment. Bless their hearts.

      guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

      by 88kathy on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:51:42 AM PDT

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      •  I agree that testing teaches nothing, and yet (2+ / 0-)
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        88kathy, worldlotus

        has become a greater and greater part of our educational system. Classes like P.E., art and music are cancelled to allow for more time for test preparation. No one seems to see the irony that students who must prepare for a test are ill-served when test prep becomes education itself.

        I'm not sure that what went on in Atlanta is as bad as what went on in Texas and I wonder at the use of anti-racketeering laws that I would rather see used on banksters who took the 99% for billions.

        I'm concerned that pillorying these people will lead to the dismantling of the public schools and a subtle return to Jim Crow.

        Full disclosure: I live in Georgia.

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:02:47 AM PDT

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        •  And Al Capone was nabbed for tax evasion. (2+ / 0-)
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          Lily O Lady, Klusterpuck

          We are a hilarious bunch.

          Testing isn't education and should come from separate funds.

          My parents and grandparents did a much better job. There was only an apple vending machine in my JR high. It was a big deal to get to 10th grade and be able to get a candy bar at school. College kids all got summer jobs playing with kids at small municipal parks. The only standardized tests I took till the SAT's was the physical fitness tests advocated by President Kennedy.

          All this is gone so rich people can play some video game bank account score with money they don't really even care about and can never use.

          guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

          by 88kathy on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:24:01 AM PDT

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          •  The requirement for tests was (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            88kathy, Klusterpuck

            not imposed by Hall for the teachers of the APS. It was imposed by the US Congress until NCLB and by the Geogia Legislature who wanted to quantify education in order to "reform" it.

            I worry where these prosecutions will lead. Georgia is continually privatizing government services. Right now in Atlanta, street vendors are banned because the city government contracted with a private company to regulate their activities. A judge ruled that the city gave away too much power in granting a private entity the power to regulate. The trend seems to be to divest public power and put it in private hands. How will our education system fare under this trend?

            "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

            by Lily O Lady on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 05:25:29 PM PDT

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            •  I do NOT support testing as a way to (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              88kathy, Klusterpuck

              measure or reform education, BTW. I am trying to look beyond these prosecutions to their ultimate implications for the education system.

              "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

              by Lily O Lady on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 05:26:53 PM PDT

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              •  You don't think testing has any use as a measure (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lily O Lady

                of education?  Even when it is predictive of future academic success?

                •  Testing has become the be-all and end-all (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Be Skeptical

                  under No Child Left Behind. All that matters is what scores the children get. It doesn't measure each child's own progress. All that matters the the standard set.

                  I've found test scores to be a good indicator of where a child stands, to know where they need to go next. But  school has become a race to prepare for test, making the kids little answer seekers rather than coming to a deeper understanding the the material. Kids fear the tests. Teachers fear the tests. And I suspect that there have been more cases of manipulation of test scores than we know.

                  "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

                  by Lily O Lady on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:54:09 PM PDT

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                  •  True enough (1+ / 0-)
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                    Lily O Lady

                    I was shocked by how much time my kids had to spend preparing, practicing, and taking those CRCT tests.  It was at least six 6 weeks, not counting all the "teach to the test" activities during the rest of the year.  Afterwards, when this insanely crucial test period was completed, with a month of school still remaining, lots of the teachers just showed videos to pass the time until summer.

                    I found it personally useful to look at the scores for my own kids, and I hope the schools did the same.  I also believe there could be some utility in these tests for assessing at least one component of teacher performance, but as far as I can tell they sure haven't figured out any valid and meaningful way to make that connection.

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