An official state investigation in Georgia revealed the routine falsification of student test scores by Atlanta public school officials. A long-standing history of problems within that city’s public schools apparently prompted these improprieties.
Reportedly, nearly 200 faculty members at 44 different schools perpetrated the fraud. Nearly half of the culprits have confessed in the scandalous aftermath.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed referred to this outrage as a “dark day” for his city’s public schools. Reed further noted that it represented a severe leadership failure that negatively impacted thousands of pupils.
Endemic fear of reprisals apparently facilitated the fraud’s longevity. Now that the cat is out of the bag, many will lose their positions. In addition, most of the co-conspirators now face criminal prosecutions throughout three surrounding counties.
This shocking revelation comes as no surprise to cynical commentators. Numerous reports by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had previously spawned widespread suspicion about highly improbable pupil performance levels. Such questions sparked the state investigation that ultimately disclosed numerous test answer erasures.
Endemic educator falsifications have fueled rampant rifts among local religious and business leaders. A turbulent tug-of-war over power among school board members has also ignited.
The cumulative detriment to students affected by the artificial score alterations is hard to quantify. Investigators estimate that as many as 12,000 remedial pupils’ test scores were tampered with.
Parental reactions reflect a mixture of emotions. Adults expressed empathy for teachers coerced into cooperating with and covering up the scandal and concerns over their children’s quality of education.
If you are a California school administrator with a question about student/teacher safety, special education, accommodations, student rights, free speech or discipline, or school employment law, feel free to call attorney Richard Oppenheim at 818-461-8500. There is never a charge for an initial consultation and we can help you choose the best direction to resolve any school district issue.