March 30, 2013

"The falsified test scores were so high that Parks Middle was no longer classified as a school in need of improvement and, as a result, lost $750,000 in state and federal aid..."

"... according to investigators."
That money could have been used to give struggling children extra academic support. Stacey Johnson, a Parks teacher, told investigators that she had students in her class who had scored proficient on state tests in previous years but were actually reading on the first-grade level. Cheating masked the deficiencies and skewed the diagnosis.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta school district superintendent, Beverly L. Hall — indicted yesterday — "earned more than $500,000 in performance bonuses while superintendent." And:
Teachers and principals whose students had high test scores received tenure and thousands of dollars in performance bonuses. Otherwise, as one teacher explained, it was "low score out the door."
This is terrible, but it's only an extreme permutation of the deep structural problem that permeates schooling: teachers and administrators have a conflict of interest with the children who are at their mercy.

103 comments:

LarsPorsena said...

The AJC has pics of all the indicted.
Want to guess what the common denominator is?

wyo sis said...

Odd that no one was able to see this unintended consequence coming.

Unintended consequence auto corrected to union tended on my iPad.

This thing is psychic.

Big Mike said...

This is terrible, but it's only an extreme permutation of the deep structural problem that permeates schooling: teachers and administrators have a conflict of interest with the children who are at their mercy.

Even when you catch the cheaters and identify the truly bad teachers -- the ones who throw students' homework assignments in the trash so they can just give a zero and don't have to grade them, for instance -- the union fights fang and claw for them.

If you want your child educated you must either home school or find the money to send the child to private school or work to break the union. The limousine liberals who drive the Democrat party are perfectly okay with this situation because they can afford private school starting before Kindergarten. I say break the unions.

ironrailsironweights said...

If our educational system weren't so fixated on standardized test scores this wouldn't have happened.

Peter

Oso Negro said...

Any system of education that permits children to progress beyond primary school if they cannot read or perform basic arithmetic functions is utterly corrupt and its proprietors in need of punishment. Dishonest schemes of mass testing are not the way to assure this.

Cinderellastory said...

It is all for the children. That is the only thing that matters...

Paddy O said...

Management versus workers.

But it's only the management that has a union.

Inga said...

Whoa, not smart.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

"low score, out the door" shouldn't be an immediate mark against teachers, in the first place.

That's like firing them because their students didn't grow enough in height.

The top achievement level level of a particular student is significantly baked in that students genes.

So test for IQs before the school year starts, and then grade the teacher on the measured and reasonably expected progress shown for "a student of that IQ".

Now THAT would be more fair. Given what they had to work with in the first place, how did the teacher do.

With people, you tend to get the behavior you reward.

So in a way, the cheating teachers were 'forced' into cheating by 2 impossible metrics: everyone achieves to a certain level, while lowering the racial achievement gap. Only way to do that is to make everyone equally dumb, and fudge the tests.

Surfed said...

Some people are born very smart (Prof Althouse), some are born of average intelligence (me) and some people are born stupid. As a teacher I can, after a fashion, educate a stupid person. But make no mistake, in no way does an education alleviate stupidity.
Addendum: It's almost impossible to teach 15 years olds how to read well, especially if they could care less about that particular skill set.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Well, they kept the faith, 'fixed' the tests and protected the kiddies precious self-esteem. How progressive.

Then read Thomas Sowell on Dunbar High School in Washington, DC, and weep.

garage mahal said...

High stakes testing and merit bonuses. What could possibly go wrong!

Phil 3:14 said...

Lars,

A la comments made in the "white men mass shootings post:

Atlanta is, as of 2010, the nation's 4th largest black-majority city

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Phil 3:14 said...

Lars,

A la comments made in the "white men mass shootings post:

Atlanta is, as of 2010, the nation's 4th largest black-majority city

3/30/13, 10:01 AM
_________________________________

Atlanta metro area is 55% white.

Tank said...

Example #2,987,501 why you can't trust anything the gov't tells you.

William said...

I'll be interested to see if Beverly Hall attracts more obloquy than Benjamin Carson.

bagoh20 said...

We suck. We know what is needed for education. We know how to help our kids, we know it's actually cheaper than than what we do now, but we won't do it. We let our own offspring grow up with a fraction of their potential. We let the people who do that to our kids make the rules and stay in power. Yea we are so advanced, compassionate, smart, and we suck. Is there any more damning fact about us than this?

bagoh20 said...

And those of you blaming standards are the problem. Everything we value in life has standards. Would you abandon standards in firefighters, police, doctors, pharmaceuticals. etc etc. No, because those things are important, but kids?

You don't blame the rules for people cheating. The standards are not hard, they are only hard if you have competing interests. If you do, find other work.

Phil 3:14 said...

Lars,
Fair point though I assume a higher percentage of students in the public schools are black

Achilles said...

So does anyone here think the government should still have monopoly control over the education system? Are there any non-fascist arguments against privatization and vouchers?

sane_voter said...

This was a case of the fox guarding the henhouse. Testing is fine as a tool, just don't let those who are judged by the tests also give the tests.

traditionalguy said...

The new thing in town is a willingness to call out the frauds.

The black aristocracy in Atlanta all insisted that we look the other way as they ran the government as their own little scam daring the politicians to risk a racist label if they were exposed.

A new willingness of the media to push back against this conspiracy of silence has signaled that the days of an "affirmative action means its OK" attitude towards black mis-management over the public purse has ended.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...
High stakes testing and merit bonuses. What could possibly go wrong!


Uh, more like unionization and superintendents making half a million a year, what could go wrong?

St. George said...

Here in my very well-heeled (Tar Heeled) N.C. college town it is common practice at the end of every school year for the children--from elementary through high school--to spend days doing nothing but playing outside or, get this, watching Hollywood movies, such as Disney cartoon features.

The reason?

The annual year-end school tests are over....

...And...there's nothing to do! In every class! Days are spent...playing!

This has been going on for years!

How about having the kids spend a day in class memorizing The Gettysburg Address or the names of state capitols or reading "The Grapes of Wrath."

Geez...watching Disney movies.

Jay said...

Achilles said...
So does anyone here think the government should still have monopoly control over the education system?


Yes. All that is needed is more funding and fewer tests.

Problem solved!

AJ Lynch said...

Librul guvmint workers are motivated by money? I thought only Wall Street tycoons and 1%ers were the evil ones.

TMink said...

Peter, you are wrong. Standardized test scores are used to measure progress during the school year. That is a measure of what the children learn.

This is how we measure the outcome of our teaching interventions. These teachers cheated because they are liars and cheaters and should be prosecuted.

Now who would need to fake outcome measures? Really bad teachers Peter, really bad teachers.

Trey

TMink said...

Peter, you are wrong. Standardized test scores are used to measure progress during the school year. That is a measure of what the children learn.

This is how we measure the outcome of our teaching interventions. These teachers cheated because they are liars and cheaters and should be prosecuted.

Now who would need to fake outcome measures? Really bad teachers Peter, really bad teachers.

Trey

garage mahal said...

Uh, more like unionization and superintendents making half a million a year, what could go wrong?

By union, you're [again] referring to a club with zero bargaining power.

Emil Blatz said...

Well, the guy who was appointed superintendent to bat clean-up, is Errol Davis, former CEO of Wisconsin Power & Light (now Alliant Energy) in Madison. He is one of the most remarkably intelligent and capable people I know, and instead of taking it easy in a well deserved retirement, he's cleaning up this Augean mess.

The AJC deserves all the credit for blowing the whistle on this in 2008. The fact that it has taken so long for indictments is pathetic, but there was a very slow disciplinary process that had to be followed. You had this situation where even though they had certain teachers dead to rights, they had to go through an elaborate process to get to the point where they could be fired (or would resign moments before firing.) The teachers just played that out as long as possible, to add to their pension earnings before termination. 4 full academic years have passed since this was discovered, finally we are getting to serous prosecution.

This is the perfect example of white flight - everyone I know in Atlanta who happens to live in the city jurisdiction (which includes parts of Buckhead) sends their kids to private schools, for exactly this reason.

As to fixation on standardized scores being the culprit in this - these kids are, on average, receiving such a poor education, that benchmarking of some kind is needed. In many instances their lives are so screwed up by the routine they experience outside of the school, that very little that could be done inside the school will matter. Perhaps removing or attenuating the pay incentives linked to test performance will help. At least bring in an independent 3rd party entity to administer and score the tests.

You have to recognize that among the teaching corps in the major urban areas you a dealing with folks who have the motivation of your typical postal worker or UAW auto worker, and that doesn't work so well for the kids. So much of what goes on in Atlanta is corrupt (Hartsfield, the schools, MARTA, the Fulton DA's office, etc. etc. etc.)- it truly is America's next Detroit. I know people outside of Atlanta have a hard time believing this - but you mistake the thriving, outlying metropolitan areas for the city of Atlanta. (Remember that jurisdiction is everything - and the amorphous blob you think of as "Atlanta" covers nearly 40 counties.)

I don't know what the solution is, if Erroll Davis doesn't know, I'd be real surprised.

Jay said...

Isn't this nice?

he Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which began investigating potential cheating in 2008 and has continued to dig deep into Dr. Hall’s performance.

She was taken to task for her car and driver, an Atlanta police officer on the school district payroll who made nearly $100,000 a year, including overtime. (“You can’t get around this system and do what’s asked of you if you are thinking about parking,” Dr. Hall said.)

Her bonuses were also questioned. In addition to a $273,156 annual salary, she made $581,860.82 in bonuses since she began in 1999.


She needed a driver (with a pistol no less!) because, well, parking is a bitch, man!

bagoh20 said...

"By union, you're [again] referring to a club with zero bargaining power."

Geeze, how does nearly everyone else working get though it without being slaves? Teachers have bargaining power just like the rest of us: do a good job, succeed and you will be paid as much as that's worth to those who hire you. What a crazy concept.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...


By union, you're [again] referring to a club with zero bargaining power.


Right.

Which by "no bargaining power" you over course mean a $273,156 annual salary.

You fucking idiot.

Jay said...

By the way, reading all the critical comments by the resident fat bozo and Inky are touching.

Really. They are like so principled and stuff.

Jay said...

What a great lady Dr. Hall is!

Underlings were humiliated during rallies at the Georgia Dome. Dr. Hall permitted principals with the highest test scores to sit up front near her, while sticking those with the lowest scores off to the side, in the bleachers.

She was chauffeured around the city, often with an entourage of aides and security guards. When she spoke publicly, questions had to be submitted beforehand for screening. “She was known as the queen in her ivory tower,” said Verdaillia Turner, president of the Atlanta teachers’ union.


OH, and apparently the Atlanta teachers' union has no bargaining power too!

Garage is a silly, pathetic dope.

SteveR said...

Waiting For Superman

Drago said...

Jay: "Yes. All that is needed is more funding and fewer tests."

Also, according to garage and other members of the "enlightened" left, less administrative scrutiny, less parental control over how resources are allocated, the abolition of private schools, the abolition of charter schools, the abolition of home schooling, the forced enrollment of younger children from age 3 on and less trailers (Modular classrooms), because, well, hmmm, shutup.



AprilApple said...

Bagoh20 @10:17

A million x This!

Fernandinande said...

"This is terrible, but it's only an extreme permutation of the deep structural problem that permeates schooling: teachers ..."

No, the problem is dumb kids.

Jim Sweeney said...

It should be noted that our blogger left out the information about the race of the perp-in-chief, the indicted Dr. Hall. Or is that inferrable from the locale and the conduct?

ricpic said...

The biggest lie of all is to designate the ineducable students as "struggling."

donald said...

This is the city of Atlanta public school system. The city of Atlanta is decidedly not 55% white.

As for fatass, it is extremely doubtful that a state education system would rely almost wholly on standardized test scores and merit bonuses.

As a bonus, Beverly Hall was some super fat NE machine pol who was hired for dramatic improvement on standardized scores in Yankeeville, which is probably why RiCO is coming into play. She's done this a before.

So I'd there was no federal dept of education, I states were left to do their duty, all this would have not happened and we wouldn't be facing tens of millions of dollars in prosecutorial and legal fees.

Bruce Hayden said...

Odd that no one was able to see this unintended consequence coming.

I know that that comment was sarcastic, so this isn't aimed at you, but at the school district. But, the thing that is amazing is that anyone can not get the fact that if you subsidize a behavior, then you get more of it. Cheating was subsidized and greatly rewarded, and not punished, and so it became rampant. Duh.

The basic problem though is that the education is government run and controlled, and, yes, most likely, that the wolves were running the hen house, in terms of unionized teachers controlling the school district. It is something called "capture", and is one of the basic problems with government spending and regulation. Governments do a bad job at providing services, and the longer they do so, the worse the value you get for the services provided, as the provision of the services becomes an end in itself, and in the case of public education, the school systems are ulitmately primarily run for the benefit of the teachers, and not the students or their parents.

This is one of the big reasons that I sent my kid to private school. I knew that they would be well skilled at reading, riting, and rithmatic by the time they graduated from high school, and, they were. And, it works.

Elliott A said...

There is only one determinant which is necessary for a successful education: A home environment where education is stressed and monitored. In a society where our inner cities have a predominance of single mothers with lots of kids, and no desire for them to have a better life, Superman couldn't succeed. Genetics only effects the education of the truly mentally handicapped at the left of the IQ bell curve. 100 years ago, kids were educated in this country in abysmal physical environments with 45 kid per room. These kids had parents that couldn't read or write English, but those parents made certain their homework was done. Now we have parents who tell the teacher that their kid isn't going to do homework because that is what they send them to school for.
There is an incredible correlation between highest education level of parents and standardized test scores, much higher than that with IQ. Educated people value education and raise their children so that they want to learn. All my professional friends have professional kids, and we aren't as smart as many people think. I have A JD-CPA and an MD. There are many kids out there who are smart enough to do these things. But without a love of learning and an ambition to rise above mere subsistence fostered by parents or caretaker grandparents, and not ridiculed by peers, it will never happen.

Christy said...

Sister, who has made a career of teaching disadvantaged kids, did a year or so in Atlanta. The system and pressure were so bad she was throwing up every morning before going to work. I was begging her to quit and offering to make her car payments. Mom was telling her to hang in there, that she could make a difference. She quit Atlanta and has gone on happily teaching the disadvantaged elsewhere, even when she had to have armed security in her classroom. Figure Atlanta must be nasty indeed.

Fernandinande said...

ricpic said..."The biggest lie of all is to designate the ineducable students as "struggling.""

Whenever I read that phrase (nobody I know says it verbally), I always think of kids duct-taped to their desks, struggling to get loose.

Anyway, the rest of the problem, after dumb kids, is failing to realize that the problem really is dumb kids. Actually it isn't failing to realize it, it's refusing to, because the information is freely available to anyone who cares to do more serious research than reading MSM editorials.

Sam L. said...

Quelle suprise!

LarsP: Democrats!

Fernandinande said...

"Genetics only effects the education of the truly mentally handicapped at the left of the IQ bell curve."

Nope.

New Genes Linked to Brain Size, Intelligence


Genotypes over-represented among college students are linked to better cognitive abilities and socioemotional adjustment



More Evidence That Intelligence Is Largely Inherited: Researchers Find That Genes Determine Brain's Processing Speed


Genetic Architecture of Intelligence

Genetic Influences on the Overlap Between Low IQ and Antisocial Behavior in Young Children

For starters.

Elliott A said...

@Fernandiande-
Obviously everyone will not be a rocket scientist! But they can learn to read and write and balance a checkbook. They can learn to function in a real work environment. They can learn marketable skills. They can learn enough to make informed decisions when they vote.

Rabel said...

Just to be clear, this was not a "teacher's union" problem. Georgia teachers have three professional organizations but they do not collectively bargain or represent the teachers in work related issues.

The truly bad guys here were management. In fact, a strong union might have prevented much of this behavior. Of course, that would have been accompanied by all the problems that public sector unions usually bring, but it doesn't help to blame the wrong cause in a particular case.

Standardized testing has its flaws, but in Atlanta it required a massive conspiracy organized by the top leadership to beat the system. Without the tests, you simply give everyone an "A" and claim success.

Fernandinande said...

Elliott A said... "But they can learn to read and write and balance a checkbook. They can learn to function in a real work environment."

Nope.

Sterilization of the Mentally Retarded — a Constitutional Right (At Least in California)

MCD said...

According to The Star-Ledger of New Jersey, Hall's previous job was as the state-appointed superintendent of the Newark Public Schools, "where test scores had reached an all-time low and widespread corruption and mismanagement led to the state takeover."

After she left for Atlanta, "state officials found Newark's school finances were a mess, with the district in the red for nearly $58 million, while investigators turned up questionable accounting practices and spending far in excess of budgeted funds."

gerry said...

Obama supporters? Democrats? Liberals?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Rusty said...

Jay said...
Achilles said...
So does anyone here think the government should still have monopoly control over the education system?

Yes. All that is needed is more funding and fewer tests.

Problem solved!

Some of the highest paid teachers in the country are Chicago Public School teachers,
56% of Chicago Public School children fail to graduate high school.
56%
and they just got a raise.

Truckee Man said...

How about the obvious? They are dishonest criminals. There is no excuse for that.

On top of the fact that the public education system is broken and there is not the political will to fix it.

Elliott A said...

@F. Reread my comment. Sounds like your education was a little lacking in reading comprehension

edutcher said...

The Lefties want low-info voters.

Whatever the consequences, that are intended.

So much for Liberal empathy, as shilol used to sneer.

Pogo said...

The incentives and reporting are similar under Obamacare.

SGT Ted said...

The problem isn't the tests. What an idiot idea it is to blame the tests.

I remember taking tests in 6th grade and 8th grade that measured our ability and learning level. Then you take the SAT to get into college.

The Military uses tests all the time to grade skills, both written and performance.

Tests work when they are honest. Anyone telling you otherwise is in on the scam.

This is the schools telling big fat lies to get rewards they didn't deserve and to escape scrutiny. They did it on the backs of the kids to keep their jobs

The problem is the dishonesty and corruption.

gadflyjohn said...

Don't worry about Ms. Hall. Her contract specifies that the School Board pays her legal expenses and any damage awards. She's one smart cookie. Evil, but smart.

http://www.11alive.com/News/Education/197539/11/Recovering-Halls-580K-bonuses-may-be-too-costly

SGT Ted said...

All these teachers and administrators have been crendentialled by our Universities in their skills and the ethical standards of their professions.

This is what they produce: incompetent, lying crooks. These are their ethics as taught in action, wholescale.

Browndog said...

NEW YORK – Why is our government education system so dysfunctional? Perhaps because parents often don’t get the truth and administrators and teachers are constantly fighting each other.

That much can be discerned from the words of Karen Lewis, president of the radical Chicago Teachers Union.

Lewis appeared before the New York Collective of Radical Educators (an appropriate audience, to be sure) March 16 to give the keynote address at the group’s annual conference.

Lewis reminisced about her teaching days, when she would lie to parents when it came time to discuss their child’s performance. She then said – because of her lies – the student became her “hostage” who would do what she wanted.


Let's try a little critical thinking..

What is the inherent conflict of interest when a political party (democrat) champions it's voter base as "poor, needy, and uneducated"?

To think that the current public education system has as it's goal to prepare children to flourish and become successful adults is based on a legacy. A legacy the education conglomerate banks on. Literally.

jr565 said...

Garage Mahal wrote:
High stakes testing and merit bonuses. What could possibly go wrong!

Yeah, because we shouldn't hold schools to any standards when it comes to teaching kids.
Here's an idea - hold the school accountable for cheating?

But for the fact that schools should teach kids and prove that they are teaching kids this school wouldn't have had to cheat! Is that the gist?

Doesn't that basically make it ok to cheat on any exam? Here's your logic - if only the teachers hadn't made the tests so hard the students wouldn't have had to cheat at the test. So, the problem is not the cheating but the hard tests.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

. . . Karen Lewis, president of the radical Chicago Teachers Union.

But you can this this much for her, she doesn't embarrass easily.

If I looked like her, I would not let the public even see me, let alone seek a stage and microphone. What a fat, fat fat fat ugly fuck. Shockingly obese, even by today's standards. She should be ashamed.

An no wonder she is so out-spokenly bold. She probably figures that since no one even comments on her gross physical appearance, she has a free pass.

AllenS said...

I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that Ms. Hall and the other cheaters were promoted to their positions solely because of affirmative action. It's a never ending problem. Little or nothing will be done to these people.

Nichevo said...

1. Regarding hostage taker Lewis: so then the kids that she was quote blackmailing unquote learned, right? Because they did what she wanted, and she wanted them to learn right? or does that mean that they did chores for her, performed oral sex, or whatever?

Please someone explain to me slowly why this woman and people like her do not get shot in the back of the head.

2. teachers unions suck rocks. Well, to be fair, my weirdness of teachers unions demonstrates that they suck rocks. I have a friend who is a wonderful teacher, a gifted music teacher for Rockland BOCES in New York. She is being pushed out and union is doing nothing for her. The funny thing is that when I tell this to people no one is ever ever surprised.

3. I think I have the answer to the bad teachers problem. It is a very modest proposal. Identify all the bad teachers and administrators. Draft them into the Army. Send them to Afghanistan, women included, and put them in combat. Take the GIs who they are replacing and send them to Atlanta or wherever to teach class. Give the GIs the teachers' pensions and give the teachers the GIs' pensions. Problem solved.

R. Chatt said...

It's like the same corruption we see in Third World Countries where no matter how much aid we shovel in they never improve. Decade after decade the same results. Maybe it's a cultural thing where they place no value on honesty. Why work hard to learn when you can cheat? Then blame the consequences on someone else who has more?

madAsHell said...

I once read a science fiction short story where all the children were tested. If you passed the test, then you were forced into re-education.....or was it death.

I wish I could recall the name of the story. It's probably something from Ray Bradbury.

Achilles said...

"Jay said...
Achilles said...
So does anyone here think the government should still have monopoly control over the education system?

Yes. All that is needed is more funding and fewer tests.

Problem solved!"

So we should have doubled this women's salary, tripled her bonus, and removed what little accountability she had to make sure the students in her district received a good education?

As long as nobody cares if the kids can read or not and we pay people who have no accountability or competition more money everything is good right? I mean it is all for teh children's!!1!

And make sure union dues are mandatory and they go to democrats.

Problem solved!

Also if this was sarcasm I apologize this is the level of stupid I am used to from statists.

Freeman Hunt said...

Speaking of cheating schools, I just found a school in one of the most crime ridden cities in my state that claims 100% proficiency in math and literacy and 100% student eligibility for free or reduced lunch.

Hm.

Ambrose said...

Interesting that if the kids had done worse on their tests, the school would have gotten $750K more in funding. Now there's an incentive...

AllenS said...

Give that school $750,000 and $750,000 will be stolen.

Wayworn Wanderer said...

What IS it about Dr. Hall? I keep looking at her picture and wondering. . . .

Wayworn Wanderer said...

What IS it about Dr. Hall? I keep looking at her picture and wondering. . . .

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

garage mahal,

High stakes testing and merit bonuses. What could possibly go wrong!

Presuming educators primarily interested in teaching, and administrators primarily interested in making sure the kids are learning, there ought to be no problem.

Presuming reality, in which a lot of teachers are lazy, greedy bastards who care a lot more about their paychecks and pensions than about whether their students are learning, and administrators whose laser-like focus on nabbing that bonus makes them amenable to racketeering schemes ... well, you get what you see here.

NCLB was a bad idea, but it did have the salutary side effect of revealing just exactly how corrupt a lot of the K-12 public education system is willing to become if there's money in the offing.

Steve G. said...

Structural problems can be summarized into: The schools are run by government.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

By the way, this is why it so important, public policy-wise, to know that mean IQ varies by Race.

When you do NOT know (or ignore) that fact, then when you see across the board and across ethnic group great scores, you might think "Great! Our reforms are working!"

Whereas, if you DO understand the truth about IQ, then when you see the same thing and you can confidently call "Bullshit!", and start the investigation.

Sorun said...

There are financial incentives to have kids test well, and other financial incentives to have kids test poorly. The job of school administrators is to determine which provides the most money.

Methadras said...

LarsPorsena said...

The AJC has pics of all the indicted.
Want to guess what the common denominator is?


I don't even need to know the genre of any involved when all you had to read were the words Atlanta. Good ole ATL showing it's true colors. It's not about the children, it's about garnering the money for these 'educators'. I blame Jimmy Carter for this one and frankly for the clusterfuck our school have become since his inception of the Dept. of Education.

fivewheels said...

garage mahal said...
High stakes testing and merit bonuses. What could possibly go wrong!


One of the maxims that I grew up with as a young Reagan conservative is that you can't dismiss or change human nature. So I agree with garage in that there is some wishful thinking involved in putting this kind of system in place.

For some people, tying compensation to results creates this response: "I get it. Work hard, do well, reap rewards. That will work."

For others, the natural response is: "I get it. Lie, cheat, steal the money. That'll work."

I pride myself in the restraint I used in not replacing "some people" and "others" above with other words denoting political/philosophical tendencies.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

SomeoneHasToSayIt,

By the way, this is why it [is] so important, public policy-wise, to know that mean IQ varies by Race.

No, it isn't. In the first place, we do not have any means of assigning people to races (let alone capital-R "Races" -- you're really creeping me out here). That people know that President Obama is every bit as white as he is black, that Tiger Woods is rather more Thai-American than African-American, that you can be Hispanic and still have a name like "George Zimmermann" -- this is all good news, so far as I'm concerned.

The job of teachers is to bring all students up to the best level of achievement possible to them.

I grew up in a working-class neighborhood -- a sort of exurb of NYC, the kind of place where people who worked in the City but couldn't afford to live anywhere closer lived -- and my high school was as white as you can conceive. I think there were two black students out of 1750 or so. Amazingly, given so much salutary whiteness, there were nonetheless a large number of students who were dumb as rocks. And whose inner thugs emerged whenever they ran across anyone who was interested in, y'know, learning stuff.

In short: Stick your racial determinism in whatever orifice is large enough to accommodate it, and let's get back to trying to educate the kids.

Browndog said...

Because words matter..

I decided to Google the meaning of the word "education", according to reputable deciders of word meanings..

That was a real education.

My layman's interpretation was something like--the transfer of information/knowledge.

The prevailing definition seems to be that which can be found in Oxford: noun

1the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university:

David said...

Gotta love the single mom excuse.

Everybody's under pressure to produce results, folks. Single moms, single dads, married moms and dads and the childless. But the single mom teacher from Atlanta, who is an educated professional, has an excuse?

Grow up, single moms. You too are responsible for your own lives. You were also education of children, and you failed in that responsibility.

No excuses, people.

And not it's not standardized testing that corrupted these people. Their corruption and weakness began long before that.

n.n said...

The dysfunction, as well as the solution, begins at home. The parents are the principal stakeholders. Their children are their principal investment. The parents must provide oversight of the overseers.

Martinkh said...

Or it could be seen as affirmative action at work. Incompetent minority teachers and administrators, and dumbed-down M.Ed programs to ensure that they can pass them, and a culture that is deathly afraid of firing them because of the knee-jerk reaction of these same people to sue for discrimination the moment someone holds them accountable.

Martinkh said...

Or it could be seen as affirmative action at work. Incompetent minority teachers and administrators, and dumbed-down M.Ed programs to ensure that they can pass them, and a culture that is deathly afraid of firing them because of the knee-jerk reaction of these same people to sue for discrimination the moment someone holds them accountable.

donald said...

Here's another observation.

As a high school sports official, the more games I do inside larger cities, the worse mechanics, rules knowledge and sportsmanship I see.

It ain't even close.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

The job of teachers is to bring all students up to the best level of achievement possible to them.


We agree completely. I just see at at having to have the courage of ones convictions. The only way to find out what level of achievement a given student has in their range of possibility, is to IQ test them. Then judge the school/teacher for getting the most out of a student "of that IQ".

Problem is, if you do that in a color-blind way, and then later compile statistics sorted by a student's self-declared race, and further find that there is a disproportional IQ range when looking at aggregate race categories, a Liberal will immediately get the vapors, drop the original goals, and force focus ALL attention on a quest to remove those aggregate variances (if they can make villains of Conservatives at the same time, all the better)!

Whereas someone like me would nothing surprising in those results, and continue to focus on grading a teacher on how much they got out of a student, based on that students potential.

Dustin said...

It doesn't sound like the testing itself is a problem, if it identified people who needed help with certain areas. It was so good that the scum had to cheat in order to look like a successful school.

This actually makes me want more standardized testing. Perhaps for math, reading, and science, they should go to a test every six weeks and put everyone on a standard curriculum.

Michael said...

Many years ago I taught in an historically black university in Georgia. Every year I graded written exams of students seeking Masters degrees, generally in Education, and with most of the students long time teachers in the public schools of Georgia. An appalling number were functionally illiterate with the balance marginally competent. These were the teachers of the students who made it to the university. I was encouraged to be lenient. The view then was to graduate the Masters candidates and to advance the less competent undergraduates so that there would be more black college graduates and more blacks with Masters degrees. Cant argue with the logic. Apparently still employed in the underperforming schools with an added financial component. By the way, I was then a liberal and I passed the incompetent year after year I am now ashamed to admit.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Here's how simple it is.

By insisting the schools narrow the un-narrowable achievement gap, they may as well be FORCING schools into fudging the reported results, or be shut down.

The key is: STOP WORRYING ABOUT THE FUCKING ACHIEVEMENT GAP. It is what it is. Play the hand you're dealt. Hint: It's the only one you CAN play.

stlgretchen said...

Someone has to say it:

Bingo. That's it. That's what this story is all about.

Dante said...

This is terrible, but it's only an extreme permutation of the deep structural problem that permeates schooling: teachers and administrators have a conflict of interest with the children who are at their mercy.

So do Lawyers. So do psychiatrists, doctors, and politicians, people doling out welfare, people receiving welfare, etc., etc.

Without the moral fabric, and a clear and decisive rejection of this stuff, it will go on.

Given the decline of the moral fabric, you can expect more of this kind of thing. Hey, someday Gays may even sue for the same benefits as those who raise kids, despite that they don't put in the effort.

Oh, wait, that already happened.

Gene said...

ironrailsironweights: If our educational system weren't so fixated on standardized test scores this wouldn't have happened.

Yeah but the reason we went to standardized tests was that in the schools of the time no one was learning to read, let alone think.

Gene said...

gadflyjohn: Don't worry about Ms. Hall. Her contract specifies that the School Board pays her legal expenses and any damage awards.

Even so, the school board won't be able to go to jail for her.

MayBee said...

Amen, David, about the single mom thing. We need serious pushback on the whole single mom thing. As you said, they too are responsible for their lives. They aren't a special class of citizen.

Gene said...

Michelle Thompson: . . . people know that President Obama is every bit as white as he is black. . .

Actually I don't think most people and certainly not the mainstream media know that. So as soon as Obama was inaugurated, the media ran an endless stream of stories about his being the "first black president." No one said anything about his being the first half white, half black president.

Just look up "first black president" on Google. You'll get 20 million hits. The people who wrote those stories didn't consider him half-white.

hawkeyedjb said...

The federal government has become deeply involved in education over the last half-century. Does anyone believe this has led to a better education system? The only result - absolutely the ONLY result - has been to drive more money into the education system. Now we get the same or worse result as 50 years ago, at vastly greater expense. Why? Whom has this benefited?

Drago said...

Michael: " Every year I graded written exams of students seeking Masters degrees, generally in Education, and with most of the students long time teachers in the public schools of Georgia. An appalling number were functionally illiterate with the balance marginally competent."

As someone who has lived in many different locations with school age children I can guarantee that what you describe is the norm for most public schools. The majority of primary public school teachers that I've come into contact with are basically dummies.

Worse, they see themselves as something akin to real "intellectuals".

My children attended public schools, parochial schools and sometimes were homeschooled depending on the quality of the local schools where we happened to be living.

In California in the mid-90's my son was having difficultly with the insane middle school classroom environment. I pulled him out to homeschool and, of course, California had a "rule" that you had to report the progress of your homeschooled student to a local administrator.

Upon my first meeting with this double-masters degree administrator, prior to my showing her his work, she offered up her own lesson plan.

First item on the lesson plan for mathematics?

A collage.

A. Collage.

I told her there would be no more "collages in my son's future" and handed her my sons work over the previous 2 weeks which included Mathematics, Physics, Literature, History, Geography, English language structure and a couple of odds and ends.

She looked it over and stated "I can't grade these."

I looked her in the eye and told her "that's why he's being homeschooled."

Needless to say my son today is a very (very) successful media/technology strategist.

And that teacher? Probably loading her students up with quite a few collages.

I have a million of these horror stories all of which led to my children being pulled from public schools.

Do note, however, that I always gave the public school the first shot and a couple were "adequate". Never "good", but "adequate".

SGT Ted said...

They aren't teachers or "educators" anymore. They are just money meat for the Unions.

Their quality of competence and work speaks for itself.

If the Military was run like the Public Schools, we'd have been stopped at the Kuwait border by the Republican Guard troops and would still be there, blaming taxpayers for not upping the defense budget even more.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Gene,

Actually I don't think most people and certainly not the mainstream media know that. So as soon as Obama was inaugurated, the media ran an endless stream of stories about his being the "first black president." No one said anything about his being the first half white, half black president.

Just look up "first black president" on Google. You'll get 20 million hits. The people who wrote those stories didn't consider him half-white.


Wasn't Clinton the First Black President? I mean, Toni Morrison said so, and, hey, she oughtta know. And who are you to question a Nobel and Pulitzer winner? Apparently being "black" for her means playing the saxophone and liking junk food, but if you are Toni Morrison, you are allowed to say that.

Nichevo said...

See, SGT Ted, that's why my proposal is win win...pulling out the GIs and airlifting teachers into the Stans would mean we lose quick, which is what Obama wants. So he should go for it.

Peter said...

'madAsHell' said, "I once read a science fiction short story where all the children were tested. If you passed the test, then you were forced into re-education.....or was it death"

It was probably "Norstrilia" by Cordwainer Smith (Paul Linebarger).

Those who failed the test were injected with a drug which made them very, very happy. It also killed them within 12 hours.

Everyone knew which children had failed thte test because they always emerged from the test facility ... laughing.

The story (it's a novel,actually) is predicated on availability of a drug which enables one to live pretty much forever. Since resources are inevitably limited, population had to be limited- and that's how they chose to do so.

______________

In any case, saying that standards force one to cheat is like the bully insisting "You made me hurt you!"