Thursday, July 7, 2011

Public School Test Cheating: Extend and Pretend?

“Atlanta: Award-winning gains by Atlanta students were based on widespread cheating by 178 named teachers and principals, said Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday. His office released a report from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that names 178 teachers and principals – 82 of whom confessed – in what's likely the biggest cheating scandal in US history.

This appears to be the largest of dozens of major cheating scandals, unearthed across the country. The allegations point an ongoing problem for US education, which has developed an ever-increasing dependence on standardized tests.”

‘The Atlanta cheating scandal also offers the first most comprehensive view yet into a growing number of teacher-cheating allegations across the US, reports of which reached a rate of two to three a week in June, says Robert Schaeffer, a spokesman for the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, which advocates against high-stakes testing.

It's also a tacit indictment, critics say, of politicians putting all bets for improving education onto high-stakes tests that punish and reward students, teachers, and principals for test scores.

"When test scores are all that matter, some educators feel pressured to get the scores they need by hook or by crook," says Mr. Schaeffer. "The higher the stakes, the greater the incentive to manipulate, to cheat." ‘ (1)

Testing is a High-Stakes Political Bet that Punishes or Rewards?

Sounds very straight forward does it not? That tests are too monumental regarding rewards and punishments and hence cheating occurs. That the system and processes themselves causes the problem. Open and shut case: remove the testing rewards and punishment and hence remove the cheating.

The Counterintuitive Proposition

Public school K-12 education is a late stage collectivist model delivered through monopoly. Late stage collectivist models, by their very nature, suffer from rampant shirk, enrichment of the power purveyors, and abysmal results. Its the nature of the beast.

The beast has become a magnet for reports regarding its many, many problems. The mounting number of reports threatens the continuation of the collectivist model delivered through monopoly.

Given there is no way to reverse rampant shirk due to the base collectivist model in its late stage, and there is no way to reverse abysmal results due to the nature of late state collectivist models, and monopoly delivery is the only way to protect enrichment of the power purveyors……the natural result is final late stage collectivism and the process of making-up results.

The cheating or made-up results, rather than being a school system or teacher reaction based upon reward/punishment, may well be an entire model reaction. Stated alternatively, the US public school model, being a last stage collectivist model delivered through monopoly, in reaction to criticism and constant finger pointing, must raise results or else the model finally gets replaced by a free enterprise model with monies assigned to students [voucher proposition] rather than monies assigned to institutions.

Hence in order to extend, one must pretend.

Below is a link to an additional report: Investigation into APS cheating finds unethical behavior across every level - Atlanta Journal Constitution


(1) America's biggest teacher and principal cheating scandal unfolds in Atlanta - Christian Science Monitor

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