If this debacle doesn’t convince you that the holy alter of testing has long since gotten way out of hand, perhaps nothing will. And I’m not referring to the actions of the teachers.
Don’t get me wrong – teachers changing students’ test scores is never right. It’s cheating and it has repercussions for the student and beyond. But how on earth these teachers can be jailed for longer than a rapist, a paedophile, or a murdered gets is beyond me.
Is the grip of education reformers go tight and so deep into the 1% that they are willing to game the legal system just to send a message to teachers that the test is sacred? This is lunacy. Strip them of their right to teach, yes. Their bonuses, fraudulently obtained, should be repaid with interest, yes. And a punishment beyond that is warranted given the scale of things. But 20 years in jail is totally out of proportion with the crime.
Make no mistake.
The conviction of 11 former Atlanta public school teachers for cheating on students standardized tests has little to do with what these people actually did or didn’t do.
It is meant as a message for the entire education profession: if you cheat on standardized tests, you will be given the harshest possible punishment!
Don’t get me wrong. These people deserve punishment. They easily deserve to be stripped of their teaching certifications and to return the bonuses they received for engaging in this activity.
However, they are each looking at a potential 20 year jail sentence for essentially making copies, erasing pencil marks on paper and filling in different bubbles.
This is absurd.
It’s only possible because they were charged with and found guilty of racketeering. You know, the same charge we use against organized crime!
The justification given was that bonuses and raises were awarded to…
View original post 737 more words