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Education The Courts

Prosecutors Get an 'A' On Convictions of Atlanta Ed-Reform-Gone-Bad Test Cheats 201

theodp writes Just weeks after an L.A. Times op-ed called on public schools to emulate high-tech companies by paying high salaries to driven, talented employees whose productivity more than compensates for their high pay, the New York Times reported on the dramatic conclusion to perhaps the largest cheating scandal in the nation's history, which saw a Judge order handcuffed Atlanta educators led off to jail immediately for their roles in a standardized test cheating scandal that raised broader questions about the role of high-stakes testing in American schools. Jurors convicted 11 of the 12 defendants — a mix of Atlanta public school teachers, testing coordinators and administrators — of racketeering, a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution sowed suspicion about the veracity of the test scores in 2009, and while investigators found that cheating was particularly ingrained in individual schools, they also said that the district's top officials, including Superintendent Beverly L. Hall, bore some responsibility for creating "a culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation" that had permitted "cheating — at all levels — to go unchecked for years." (More below.)
Officials said the cheating allowed employees to collect bonuses and helped improve the reputations of both Dr. Hall and the perpetually troubled school district. Dr. Hall, who died on March 2, insisted that she had done nothing wrong and that her approach to education, which emphasized data, was not to blame. But a Fulton County grand jury later accused her and 34 other district employees of being complicit in the cheating. Twenty-one reached plea agreements, and two defendants died before they could stand trial. Interestingly, in early 2010, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported on how Hall and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation were bringing a "fair and transparent evaluation and support mechanism" to the Atlanta Public Schools. "We are excited to continue our [$23.6 million] partnership with APS and Dr. Hall," said Gates Foundation director of education Vicki L. Phillips. Five years earlier, in a 2005 Gates Foundation press release, Hall said, "We look forward to partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to take our reform efforts to the next level."
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Prosecutors Get an 'A' On Convictions of Atlanta Ed-Reform-Gone-Bad Test Cheats

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  • Wrong profession (Score:5, Insightful)

    by labnet ( 457441 ) on Sunday April 05, 2015 @05:27PM (#49411455)

    Well, they obviously chose the wrong profession. Had they been Wall Street hedge fund bankers, they would have got an invite to the next country estate deer hunt.

    • They clearly aren't smart enough, for the low bar that is wall street.

      1. They are teachers.
      2. They got caught cheating in tests in the US.
      3. They didn't take a deal but instead went to trial and got convicted.

    • Re:Wrong profession (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05, 2015 @08:10PM (#49412019)

      Well, they obviously chose the wrong profession. Had they been Wall Street hedge fund bankers, they would have got an invite to the next country estate deer hunt.

      I saw (read?) a documentary on the scandal over a year ago. It focused on one guy and to boil it down he wasn't cheating for himself, what he got out of it was minimal - he was still putting in (in the form of school supplies that he purchased, etc) way more than he got out. He ended up cheating because it was so prevalent that his own students would be unfairly penalized if he didn't inflate their scores. They were at a bottom of the barrel school and yet they were learning, they were rising above their circumstances. But their legitimate scores would have still put them on the bottom compared to all the other fake scores. He saw cheating on the tests (changing their answers sheets to have more correct answers after the fact) as the only way to do right by his students.

      It kind of reminded me of reading about corruption in China. In some government departmets corruption is so prevalent that the honest people are not trusted. That if you didn't take bribes everyone else in the office treated you with suspicion, that because you weren't as vulnerable as them to possible criminal charges they thought you might rat them out. You basically couldn't get your job done because no one wanted to have anything to do with you.

      Its kind of like there is a "tipping point" for corruption in a system where once it reaches that point you simply have no hope of survival unless you join in, which ultimately makes anti-corruption drives extremely difficult because even the "good guys" are corrupt. You pretty much have to clean house and start over from scratch.

      • by kenh ( 9056 )

        He cheated to "help" his students?

        They didn't know the answers, they deserved the low scores their "teacher" protected them from.

        By inflating their grades, the students were denied the education they deserved, many of which were special needs students.

        I don't care about how many pencils he bought out of his own pocket, that doesn't change the fact that his students did poorly on the tests and he choose to change their answers, not teach them what they were supposed to be taught.

        This corruption went all the

        • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Monday April 06, 2015 @12:39AM (#49412689)

          By inflating their grades, the students were denied the education they deserved, many of which were special needs students.

          This would have been true 15 years ago, before we decided to go test crazy in an effort to identify and defund the schools that are wasting taxpayer money simply by being below average. That created a perverse incentive. Nowadays, when they don't help the kids unwittingly cheat, teachers will get laid off or not replaced, funds get diverted to charter schools, and class sizes eventually balloon to more kids than can fit in the room. The fact that we're now charging teachers with "racketeering" for merely trying to keep the schools funded (which wasn't a concern when I was growing up) shows how drastically we've destroyed the country's 170-year-old public education system in just a few years.

          • Re:Wrong profession (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Monday April 06, 2015 @09:25AM (#49413955) Homepage

            If I had mod points (and hadn't already commented), I'd mod you up. Not sure where you're from, but here in New York State, we've just codified this in the latest budget. Teachers will be evaluated every year and 50% will come from high stakes tests. If the students don't not only pass the tests, but improve by an amount that's decided after the tests, the teacher gets rated ineffective. 2 ineffective ratings in a row and the teachers could be fired in 90 days. 3 in a row and the teachers MUST be fired within 30 days. If a school gets enough low ratings, they are placed in receivership with one of the options being they are taken over by a charter school.

            It's an insane system and we're very angry with our legislators who passed it by saying that it's horrible legislation but they were approving it "with a heavy heart" in order to get the budget passed on time. Way to sell out the kids/teachers/schools in order to keep the on-time-budget streak going!

            • But, if a teacher isn't teaching and improving their students, they should be fired.

              What other litmus test other than "tests" would you recommend to measure a teachers worth/success rate?

              • Re:Wrong profession (Score:4, Interesting)

                by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Monday April 06, 2015 @11:24AM (#49415023) Homepage

                The problem is that the tests a) are being developed by Pearson and other companies with a financial stake in having students fail (so they can sell "solutions"), b) aren't audited by any third party to ensure they are developmentally appropriate (if you test first graders with multiplication, they WILL fail), and c) have their "pass" threshold set AFTER the fact by politicians with an agenda to push. On that last one, before the last round of testing, we were warned that 70% of kids might fail. After the results came in, it turned out that exactly that number failed. They set the pass-fail line after the scores came in to get the result they wanted.

                So a teacher could teach their kids, have the kids improve from an average of 75% to 80% on the tests, but wind up being marked "ineffective" because the politicians decided (after the tests were given and the results were in) that they needed 10 percentage point improvement, not 5.

                I'm not against tests in general, but the way these are administered isn't just ripe for abuse, it's DESIGNED to abuse teachers.

                • This "Pearson" conspiracy theory is just as silly as other conspiracy theories. Pearson makes money selling tests and learning materials that help kids learn. If the kids don't learn then Pearson is going to lose the client. This is a highly competitive market and there is value is standardized testing that's scientifically validated and receives continual updates to improve the effectiveness.

                  The old system that was used was someone wrote a test then used that test for the next 30 years without regard to ho

                  • Some of the learning materials I saw people complaining about were ingenious for forcing kids to learn how to solve the problem rather than memorize a solution.

                    I have one child in elementary school and another in middle school. I've seen that these "solutions" are. You want to solve 24 x 4? First you draw 24 boxes. Then, you draw another 24 boxes. Repeat 2 more times. Now, start circling every 10 boxes. Count up how many "10 box circles" you have and add it to how many non-circled boxes you have and

                    • I see a lesson that's designed to teach the multiplication is just the addition of the same number the number of times it's multiplied by. Not sure I understand the circling 10's thing but that's probably to try to make it easier to count by breaking it down into the number of 10's then counting the remainder.

                      I'm sure it could be tuned to be a little bit better but do you know how many kids don't understand that multiplication is nothing more than addition? (I'd wager it's better than 90% that don't even un

                    • One other thing, once they teach how to multiply they will likely teach them the same scaling techniques you learned. The only exception is that they won't just memorize the 10x10 grid you needed to memorize to do the same multiplication. They won't need to do the draw boxes thing for very many times before the method and way to think implants on their brains.

                      Learning how to multiply was one of those things I had to relearn in college as part of my STEM degree because I had to understand what multiplication

                    • It probably bothers you because you were taught multiplication by memorizing a table, they are being taught to understand multiplication.

                      I was definitely taught by memorizing multiplication tables, I remember at least 2x weeks my parents essentially grounded me at home till I got them memorized (2's through 12's)....

                      It took all of about 30 seconds for me to grasp the concept that it was addition of numbers, that was easy to see and figure out (2x3 = 3+3 how hard is that?)....

                      But, being able to do the m

              • But, if a teacher isn't teaching and improving their students, they should be fired.

                They *are* teaching and improving the students. Just not as well as ones in higher percentiles. That doesn't mean they should be fired. You can't just keep firing people and gutting public schools for being below average. Just teach the kids, and stop concentrating on smoking out bad teachers and shutting schools down.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          > By inflating their grades,

          It was not grade inflation. It was standardized test score inflation. Poor test scores wouldn't stop them from graduating, but poor test scores would cause an underfunded school to receive even less resources. Test scores were used to punish "bad schools" by making them worse schools rather than as a diagnostic to find schools in need of help.

        • by Livius ( 318358 )

          they deserved the low scores

          How can a student deserve or not deserve a particular score when all the scores are artificial?

          I agree with punishing that teacher, but it's not as though there was no logic at all behind the actions.

      • In some government departmets corruption is so prevalent that the honest people are not trusted. That if you didn't take bribes everyone else in the office treated you with suspicion, that because you weren't as vulnerable as them to possible criminal charges they thought you might rat them out. You basically couldn't get your job done because no one wanted to have anything to do with you.

        There is actually an expression for that in American English: "Go along to get along." I've heard it used mostly in reference to police corruption.

  • I'm used to theodp putting things into selective context so they sound better or more usually worse than they are, but WTF is up with this one? Would higher teacher salaries somehow have something to do with a culture of fear and retaliation? Do well paid people not feel this kind of pressure?

    • by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Sunday April 05, 2015 @05:44PM (#49411511)

      No, he was pointing out that rewarding teachers for high test scores is likely to result not in better teaching but more cheating and manipulation of the results.

      We've been obsessing over test scores for a while now and it doesn't seem to improve the quality of education.

      • by penix1 ( 722987 ) on Sunday April 05, 2015 @05:56PM (#49411559) Homepage

        We've been obsessing over test scores for a while now and it doesn't seem to improve the quality of education.

        That is the fault of the No Child Left Behind Act. The act that tied teacher / administrator salaries to the test results. Public schools across the nation stopped worrying about a kids learning and worried about their bottom line. That leads to doing whatever it takes to make sure the test results are positive.

        • by s.petry ( 762400 )

          That is the fault of the No Child Left Behind Act.

          This is such a small part of the problem that it is really not worthy of discussion. Centralized testing has been mandated since the mid to late 80s. The government mandated testing, and the bureaucracy that has to follow it around is the problem. The Feds have school districts handcuffed with this, since funding is all tied to test results. Kids are stuck not learning, because constantly cramming for test problems means you rarely if ever get to learn.

          Just like everything else in the Federal sector, th

          • Don't Blame the DoE (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Pollux ( 102520 )

            Corruption is "massive in the DoE"? Really? I don't think your premise is common knowledge, so please cite a few sources.

            The DoE doesn't pass any laws; it enforces the ones passed by Congress. And as it's a cabinet-level department, Congress approves all cabinet appointees, so blame them on both fronts. And while the DoE does a lot of things, its central mission, and its reason for its establishment, is to assure access to equal educational opportunity for every individual. Take the DoE away, and we've

            • The DoE doesn't pass any laws; it enforces the ones passed by Congress. And as it's a cabinet-level department, Congress approves all cabinet appointees, so blame them on both fronts.

              The Department of Education (or ED, not the "DOE") is run by the executive branch. You seem to have skipped that part for some reason. True, the laws and appointment are granted by Congress, however the day-to-day operation and many details of "how" the law is to be implemented do not reside with them.

              Speaking with 10 years of experience in public K-12 schools, blame lies with the superintendent. Superintendents are the leaders of a district, and they can and often do set a strong tone of expectations that are carried out by administrators, including principals, which then trickle down to teachers and support staff. There's no doubt in my mind that the superintendent, tacitly if not directly, created this cheating culture in Atlanta. We can blame the law all we want for encouraging the genesis of such an environment, but that's like blaming cheese for mold growth. Yes, an optimal environment was created for this cheating scandal to take root and grow, but it was disgusting school leaders like Dr. Hall that caused it to happen.

              I agree with the principle of this (pun intended), but I also think that laws can be implemented in ways that do not encourage cheating on this scale. It's not just the Atlanta school system trying to game

        • That is the fault of the No Child Left Behind Act. The act that tied teacher / administrator salaries to the test results. Public schools across the nation stopped worrying about a kids learning and worried about their bottom line. That leads to doing whatever it takes to make sure the test results are positive.

          It's easy to be moral and ethical when there's nothing to lose. To blame the mechanic providing the "something to lose" when weak, immoral and unethical people decide to act in their own best interest at the expense of children's education is irresponsible. I find it fascinating when someone shows their true colors under pressure. Most people call themselves "Christian", "good", "decent", etc., but it's not until the shit hits the fan or some bum asks them for a few bucks for a hamburger that we really find

          • It's easy to be moral and ethical when there's nothing to lose. To blame the mechanic providing the "something to lose" when weak, immoral and unethical people decide to act in their own best interest at the expense of children's education is irresponsible.

            Federal judges are appointed to life terms in order to reduce the temptation to cheat. It turns out that all people are susceptible to pressure; almost all people will do things they "know" to be wrong if given enough enticement or peer pressure. If you give teachers a system of merit pay, some of them will game the system. If you impose a set of penalties, they will game the system. Pile those rewards/penalties on a system where teachers in districts with engaged and active parents get better resources

        • And they were teaching before? How do you handle schools in which kids who cannot read are promoted? There are solutions. The simplest one would be school vouchers where parents can send their kids to the school of their choice. How would they choose? How would they select one over the over? How do people chose anything else?
      • I read for these fuckers too much to be arsed trying to figure what a notably inflammatory submitter intimates.

        Test scores mean shite, and the relation to improving education is obviously null. It persists for the same reason the war on whatever exists. We can solve the problem of drugs, or prostitution, or terrorism, or education, if we understand it. If we refuse to understand and rely on what we believe, we can just expect to spend more money with no results.

        This much was obvious to me before 2000. Y

    • by kenh ( 9056 )

      Teachers whose students showed higher levels of achievement were given larger pay raises.

  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Sunday April 05, 2015 @05:28PM (#49411461) Journal

    They got em.

    Private sector too whenever the sole and only focus is on metrics. Like how Pepsi loaded all their inventory on a truck moved it 1 foot then did an inventory count each quarter is a classic example.

    People will find a way a number is met

    • by bangular ( 736791 ) on Sunday April 05, 2015 @06:58PM (#49411767)
      Statistics and economics. It's always statistics and economics.

      The vast majority of decisions and funding in this country come from statistics. Unfortunately, the powers that be rarely have that background and don't understand that most statistics act as a proxy for the underlying issue they are trying to affect. We want "smarter" kids, so we give them a test which measures their "smartness." If their test scores improve, we give the schools more money. What we've actually done is incentivized everyone to cheat and disconnect that proxy measure from the child's "smartness."

      That's the problem we have when the administrators of this country have degrees that never required a calculus based stats course. They don't understand the complexity of the numbers and think all numbers are equal.
      • by penix1 ( 722987 ) on Sunday April 05, 2015 @07:17PM (#49411845) Homepage

        There was a joke on NPR the other day it went like this:

        3 economics statisticians went deer hunting. The first just missed the back end of the deer while the second just missed the front. The third yelled, "We got him!"

        What this shows is there is always a margin of error and as long as the numbers are within that range they got it.

      • by mjr167 ( 2477430 )

        I was once asked to come up with one (single) metric that my company can use to track how much money they save by code reuse.

        Our entire culture is obsessed with metrics and lacks the stats background to understand them.

    • Unintended consequences. We want people to be able to afford houses, so we give them a grant so they can pay a deposit. What happens? Everyone goes to the bank with their $7K, the bank manager gives them 95% LVR and allows them to borrow $140k more. Then they go and find the house they want, and offer what the bank manager said they could. End result? House prices go up and housing ends up *less* affordable.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Sunday April 05, 2015 @05:40PM (#49411493) Journal
    Moral of the trial appears to be "Don't mess with the feds unless you've been granted too big to fail status".

    Moral of the story seems to be that, surprise surprise, if you attempt to rule by the metric, you'd better be damned good at using it or all you'll get is peons who are good at gaming the metric. You'll get there even faster if you make demands that can only be satisfied by gaming the metric; with extra credit for exquisitely defeating the purpose of data-driven-improvement by creating a class of people whose organizational survival depends on gaming the metric, and who can then be reliably expected to intimidate and retaliate against anyone who makes gaming the metric harder (like any honorable and/or competent enough to succeed without cheating employees you might have...)

    Obviously, you can't get much of anything done if you just pretend that the world, is, like, fundamentally inaccessible to your reductionist empirical 'measurements', man... and sometimes there's simply no pretending that it isn't time to cut some dead weight; but the sheer naivete of these test score based funding allocation proposals(and implementations) seriously makes me wonder if the people proposing them are just dumb, actually believed that most schools that suck suck because of slacking and can be fixed just by whipping the slackers a bit, or whether the intent was always just to find a nice, 'objective' way to declare the schools a write-off and purge them.

    Based on the results, it's impossible to argue that these schools are just A-OK and peachy keen; but it's not exactly news that "just intimidate and fire workers until Wall Street smiles" has not worked all that well as a corporate management strategy, and many of these testing initiatives seem to be largely the same plan, adapted for the public sector.
    • Moral of the trial appears to be "Don't mess with the feds unless you've been granted too big to fail status".

      That's it exactly. If I recall, only one person went to jail over the whole meltdown mess.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Those who give students their grades should not be the same people that give the students their education.

      There should be no High School diplomas. There should only be the G.E.D., for which a High School prepares the students but which that same High School does not administer or score.

      Educators will then have every incentive to educate well with no ability to inflate grades.

      Law school works this way, because it works well. All schools should follow this model.

      • That would have its virtues; but doesn't cover a few cases, some of which are on display here: The tests that were being doctored are administered at multiple grade levels(as they are in most states with similar testing systems); because they want feedback that is more granular and more frequent than "GED success rate of alumni", which is not terribly useful for middle and elementary schools in particular. From the student's perspective, you also want to discover that things are going off the rails well bef
      • there should be a college GED or at least some way for people to take a test to get a piece of paper and with out having to spend 30-50K + 2-4 years for it.

        • There are a few schools that offer essentially that. I'm doing it at WGU.edu, which is a state school in many states (WGU Texas, for example, is a state school in Texas). You finish each class whenever you can pass the test, which in many cases is an industry-recognized certification test from CompTIA, CIW, Microsoft, etc. I just finished my database course, which took me a week to get four college credits since I know the material very well. If you knew ALL the material well enough to pass all of

      • Those who give students their grades should not be the same people that give the students their education.

        It is important to note that the Atlanta Public Schools' cheating happened *after* the tests were administered. After the tests were collected and the teachers who administered the tests went home, some other "educators" had erasing parties, where they got together and changed incorrect answers. So, to me, racketeering was the appropriate charge -- those "educators" ran a racket when they got together, circumvented test-security protocols and changed official state records (the exams).

        My partner is the P

    • Moral of the trial appears to be "Don't mess with the feds unless you've been granted too big to fail status".

      Don't worry, the teachers' unions are "too big to fail", and they already get pretty much whatever they want.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Sunday April 05, 2015 @07:07PM (#49411805)

      I think the problem is that measurements are hard to get right. Engineers learn this. There is an old German engineering saying: "Wer mist mist Mist." ("Those who measure measure crap.") Any good engineering curriculum does not only teach this, but demonstrates it to students time and again. In the end, the students learn that metrics are useful hints but can never replace actual understanding and at that time they are qualified to use metrics.

      These pedagogics people have zero clue about all the problems with metrics and how to do them right and what they can and cannot deliver. Hence they are making all the really bad beginners mistakes.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      The moral of the story is that you get what you measure.

      And most measurements do not actually quantify what you want to quantify - they are merely proxies for what you're measuring.

      Anyone who's done the "SMART" (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results, Time) style of objectives will eventually figure out how to game the system. Because it tracks items that are concrete, you end up using concrete measurements for abstract things.

      I mean, take for example you want to write compelling content for your blog, w

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Sunday April 05, 2015 @06:55PM (#49411757)

    ... all you get is numbers. This testing-mania is hurting education badly. In cases where the numbers are not outright made up, they are subject to over-fitting (pupils learn jut for test-scores, not for knowledge and skills anymore), where they become just as meaningless. The underlying problem is that politicians are so abysmally dumb these days that they cannot comprehend anything about any real question but whether a number is higher or lower.

    • My high school education in Florida (about 10 years ago) consisted of studying for the FCAT and almost nothing else. We'd typically have 1 or 2 dedicated classes in our schedule called "research" or some other euphemism for FCAT where we'd just study for that test. Florida really let down a whole generation of children with that test. I didn't receive a meaningful K-12 education because all we did was study for one test. It took me many remedial classes in college to catch up to where I should have been.
      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        My condolences, that is really bad. At least you got a chance to make up for it, but I shudder to think how many people did not.

    • But that way you prepare your pupils for working. That's how the corporate world works. What you do isn't important, whether you meet some arbitrary goal number is.

      To give you an example of how number ruin our economy. Of course this is a made up example concerning a CISO in a galaxy far, far away (or at least sometimes I ... I mean he would rather be there). Said CISO got the goal of his bug hunting team having to find a certain number of security issues with the applications the software department cranks

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        You are certainly right about the incredible intellectual laziness of the corporate world and its dysfunctional reliance of numbers. And you are right how this is one of the things that will put any economy in a downward spiral. The solution (actually understanding what you are doing) is not compatible with the big egos and small skills of those that crave power.

        • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday April 05, 2015 @08:07PM (#49412003)

          There is no solution to the problem. Especially as long as everyone working for a corporation doesn't give a rat's behind about it. CEOs have no connection whatsoever to the company they run anymore, and neither do workers care about it in a hire and fire world where any kind of "loyalty" is simply not rewarded at all. There is no reason to do any work past the bare minimum to not get fired. So of course when some bonus system was invented as an "incentive" to do more work, what happened is what would logically happen: People started to game the system. The "goals" they get set are supposedly improving the company's state, but in the end all they accomplish is that people try to find out how they can accomplish as many of them while at the same time spending as little time and effort doing so as possible.

          And exactly the same happens in our schools. Teachers know what the tests will be like, so what is taught is exactly and only what will make the pupil pass that test. There is not only no incentive to teach beyond that, it's actually discouraged because it bear the threat that something you show to your pupils that's not going to be in the test is more interesting to them and they will "waste" their time doing this instead of learning what will make you hit your mark on their test scores.

          And that, people, is pretty much the worst kind of bullshit.

          • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

            Why is teaching to the test a bad thing? Is it because the test does not measure the skills students are expected to be learning [greatschools.org]? Or is it because teachers depend on repeated drills with old test questions to prepare students?

            Neither one points to an insurmountable flaw with standardized testing.

            • Teaching to the test is a bad thing because the focus of learning is set wrongly. Just as in company goals. With a company, the goal should be more revenue and a better product. But that becomes secondary if your reward depends on some arbitrary goals. Likewise, the goal of learning should be an education and the ability to build upon that education, but learning to the test means you get crammed whatever is relevant to whatever the test asks.

              To give you an example that people here can relate to, it's like

              • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

                instead of teaching them computer science and information theory so they could solve the questions themselves

                Do you have an example of a principle of computer science or information theory that cannot be tested?

                • It's not that it can't be tested, it's that testing it is not only harder and requires the tester to actually know his shit, it's also very hard to standardize because tests would have to be far more open ended and allow different solutions which can be equally valid.

      • From what you write, it looks like the biggest bug in that software was the CISCO.
        • Well, considering their shoddy OS you can blame a lot of security issues on the routers, but this time they're actually innocent.

  • by McGruber ( 1417641 ) on Sunday April 05, 2015 @07:03PM (#49411793)

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution sowed suspicion about the veracity of the test scores in 2009

    Actually, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) newspaper was one of Beverly Hall's biggest cheerleaders. Bloggers were pointing out problems with the Atlanta test scores for years before the AJC looked into it. The cheating wasn't really a secret -- someone was even using the screen name "Beverly FRAUD" to post comments on the AJC's own website.

    The AJC ignored all those allegations of cheating until Beverly Hall was named 2009 National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).... and then the newspaper reluctantly started investigating her.

  • The teachers played along with your idea of having schools emulate corporations: They ignored your laws and did what they could to "optimize" the results. Now what you have to do is to release them acquitted, hand them big bailouts to recover their losses and let them retire with golden parachutes.

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Monday April 06, 2015 @04:26AM (#49412981) Homepage

    Prosecutors Get an 'A' On Convictions of Atlanta Ed-Reform-Gone-Bad Test Cheats

    Try again, I don't think your headline was quite convoluted enough.

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