Today, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal released results from the state’s investigation into the 2009 administration of the Atlanta Public Schools CRCT exams. The results are not pretty, but the governor is hopeful that the findings of the investigation will help eliminate some of the problems that led to this “dark chapter in Atlanta Public Schools.”
A press release detailing the full report can be found on the governor’s website. Here are some of the highlights (or lowlights) of the investigation:
- Cheating was found in 44 of the 56 schools examined. Of those schools, 38 had principals who were responsible or directly involved in the cheating.
- The state concluded that 178 teachers and principals in the APS system cheated, with 82 of the individuals confessing to this misconduct.
- According to the report, the CRCT statistics from 2009 and the subsequent drop-off in 2010 confirm widespread cheating in Atlanta Public Schools.
But wait! It gets better. The report also speculates that cheating occurred as early as 2001, with evidence supporting that stance dating back to December 2005/January 2006. The warning signs were ignored even though the report details them as being both “significant” and “clear.”
The report suggests that the widespread cheating was caused by a number of factors, most significantly pressure to meet performance targets. One sentence from the press release stands out in particular:
“A culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation existed in APS, which created a conspiracy of silence and deniability with respect to standardized test misconduct.”
How would you like to go to your job every day with that sort of bright and sunny workplace atmosphere hanging over your head?
Not only did the report find evidence of cheating, but also of improper conduct, instances of false statements, instances of document destruction and open record act violations.
Hopefully the full report will be released soon. From the press release, this has all the makings of a Lifetime television drama. All it needs is some sort of romantic angle and you’ve basically got all of the major plot pieces covered.
If you live in a community that falls within the Atlanta Public School System, how do you feel about the results from the report? Let us know in the comments.
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