Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Teacher Cheating Scandals

I don't recall many of these:
As we reported last week, many states have failed to implement simple and effective checks for teacher cheating. Scandals involving cheating by teachers and schools to pump up ever-more-important student test scores swept the country this summer. But they've also been happening for years, and oversight is only now beginning to catch up.

Here's an overview of some of the most shocking instances of teacher cheating, plus a few episodes that may have been overblown...


mrelliott said...

I question when the headline reads "Teacher" cheating. It's been my experience and seeing first hand, the cheating on standardized tests came from the administration. They also went into teacher's electronic grade books and changed grades so students would graduate. It's my opinion if teachers did some unethical cheating, especially related to state and federal testing, it was because they were pressured by administrators. My last high school, a colleague said to me one day, "I never give below a B. It keeps the administration from breathing down my neck."

When I expressed concern to another colleague that the administration was adding students to my roster, giving them credit for my class, even though I never physically saw them, his response was, "Every organization needs their scapegoats."

I really question whether these truly are "teacher" cheating scandals, or if it's more of a "teacher pressured by their bosses" cheating scandal.

Darren said...

While you make valid points, I expect a little more integrity than just "my boss made me do it" from professionals.

mrelliott said...

Clearly you work in an educational environment that is functional and supportive of its teachers, and that's great. I wish every school was that way, but unfortunately it isn't. I quit working for my last high school, uprooted myself, moved and am now working for a better organization. I was lucky, I was able to do this. But it was a costly, stressful change all for the sake of integrity, and a lot of professionals are unable to just pick up and change.

By the way, the colleague of mine who "...gives nothing below a B..." is getting her administrative license. In fact, she has already assumed administrative duties, and I fully expect her to be in an assistant principal position within a couple of years. So this lack of integrity is climbing the ladder with her.

I'm just saying there is another side to these charges of teacher cheating. This pressure exerted on teachers by their administrators, and the resulting actions all in the name of achievement, is something that needs to be further explored.

Darren said...

I agree it should be explored and dealt with. I just don't accept the "just following orders" excuse.

Ellen K said...

One of the worst cases of cheating, involved the newly hired superintendent of a Dallas suburban school district. She never worked a day, since her history of overlooking test irregularities in Georgia was glossed over in the interviews until a pesky news reporter started asking around. As the result, her contract was dissolved, but they paid her the full amount for the entire year. Over one hundred thousand for nothing in a district of blue collar workers is a big price to pay.