Test cheating has for years provided ammunition for critics of public school accountability, and the latest out of Atlanta on the country’s apparently largest test-cooking scandal to date only amplifies their crows. As Mark mentioned earlier, that’s the quick conclusion even “objective” reporters are highlighting. A sampling from some star-studded outlets.
Washington Post: “Few who have paid attention in the education era of high-stakes testing will be surprised at this. And the stakes are only getting higher for teachers and principals, who are increasingly being evaluated and paid according to how well their students do on standardized tests, despite research showing that test-driven reform hasn’t made an impact in the last decade on student achievement.” This research is by no means a consensus and education reform has had giant barriers to progress in the past decade such as, well, teachers’ unions.
Associated Press: “Problems have mounted, some [unnamed] experts say, as teachers and school administrators — particularly those in low-income districts — bow to the pressure of the federal No Child Left Behind requirements and see cheating as the only way to avoid sanctions [rather than, you know, actually improving schools]. Under the law, failing schools must offer extra tutoring, allow parents to transfer their children to higher performing schools and fire teachers and administrators who don’t pass muster.”
Read the rest here.