Cheating scandal rocks Atlanta Public Schools

July 13th, 2011

According to a state report released last week, 178 teachers and administrators in 44 Atlanta schools have been implicated in a cheating scandal involving standardized tests issued annually at Georgia’s public elementary and middle schools. The report claims that educators changed incorrect answers themselves or encouraged students to change them in order to meet specific student performance targets.

Hardin Coleman, Dean of the Boston University School of Education, offers the following comment:

“There is no excuse for cheating and the participating educators deserve punishment. One has to wonder what is wrong with a system that tempted or drove so many educators to cheat. Certainly they were not bribed by children or their parents. There appears to be no direct gain to them personally for this behavior. Could it be that the pressure to demonstrate rising test scores or lose resources to educate children may drive an educator to change scores? A system that makes significant financial decisions based on test scores is a failed system that will produce unethical behavior.”

Contact Hardin at 617-353-3213 or hardin@bu.edu.

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