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Sometimes you have to wonder if the sole reason that the law requires children go to school is because very few would go if not forced. If schools are intended to give children training as to the world they will live in as an adult, then there isn't any better example than the Atlanta public school system. When will we start to realize that these are not one-off incidents but are endemic to the entire public education system? Atlanta certainly isn't the only city who cheats and lies when it comes to education. It happens in many other cities... in Chicago, for example, under the supervision of Arne Duncan (who now is Obama's education secretary). Isn't that just like the government - do wrong and you get promoted? Do we need to stop focusing on improvements at the margins and start from scratch? If you could design and build the school system from scratch, what would it look like? How would it be different?


Georgia state officials, investigating a culture of "intimidating, threatening and retaliating" against Atlanta Public School employees who come forward with information about widespread cheating and corruption in the system, sent a letter to the school board on Wednesday, demanding that the obstructive practices cease immediately.

Investigators appointed last summer by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue, say they have found evidence that the district-wide cheating on the state's standardized test, the CRTC, has been going on for years.

Since the early 2000's, they say that the district engaged in "a pattern and practice" of punishing employees who reported cheating, or asked questions how the CRTC was managed... the district repeatedly acted to intimidate witnesses during their own investigation, by having principals accused of changing test scores stand outside the room were witnesses were giving statements "with the obvious intent to make their presence known and to put a chilling effect on the staff member being interviewed."

...Before the scandal was exposed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta school system was heralded as a model of success by turning around a poorly performing school system in just a few years' time.

In 2008, the AJC reported that an independent study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania determined that the vastly improved test scores were statistically impossible. Ultimately, outside investigators found widespread evidence of cheating in at least 58 schools.

Test sheets showed that incorrect answers were erased on tests, and correct answers were substituted. Investigators also said that many teachers admitted to changing test results, and supplying questions and answers to students before handing out tests.

Largely based on the phony scoring achievements, the district's Superintendent Hall, was named 2009 National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators. In May 2010, she was appointed by President Obama to the National Board of Education Sciences.

Atlanta school officials reprimanded for continued obstruction in cheating probe (see also - State: Atlanta schools protect those who would intimidate whistleblowers


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Feb 20, 2011 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=474

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