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View Diary: Atlanta cheating scandal highlights dangers of high-stakes testing (146 comments)

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  •  Look at the the causes (5+ / 0-)

    Yes!  What legislators don't want to accept is that for all of the testing we have done to our children, it has not increased student achievement!  When so much of a teacher's livelihood is at stake, it may cause cheating.  No, it's not making excuses for the teachers.  Just get rid of the cause.  It's not helping anyone, students or teachers.

    •  Exactly. It's not a choice between oneor the other (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sethtriggs, drmah, CleanSlate

      Yes, it's wrong for an individual teacher or principal to falsify test scores. But it's also wrong (and wrongheaded) to put systems in place that encourage cheating behavior. Anyone who has worked in change management for any organization knows this. Behavior in the aggregate is fairly predictable. If desired behavior is punished, on average you will see less of the desired behavior. That's not an excuse, it's just reality.

      And the motivation may be more than just fear/personal gain. The types of draconian punishment that "failing" schools face are harder on the kids than the teachers in the short run at least - defunding programs, withholding Title1 funds, etc.

      And there's also the issue that many teachers doubt the efficacy/sense of the tests.

      So taking all of that into consideration, it seems almost inevitable that some principals/teachers will cheat. Unfortunately, cheating rolls downhill and causes damage to other kids by implying successes that don't exist. (see: Michele Rhee) But then that's also almost inevitable given the way we've set up our systems so that every school is on their own and competing for scarce resources. (see: race to the top)

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