CrimeDivas

Female White-Collar Crime Divas-Mordern Day Thieves

School Scandal – Cheating?

Atlanta school

“Efficiency is concerned with doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.”

Peter F. Drucker

          As I stated in the beginning of last week’s first post, I would be posting ‘other’ white-collar crimes, because it is important that we all see that these crime are not just about deceitful acquiring of wealth, but can occur in many forms and fashions.

          I wrestled with this post that is, naming this person as the Crime Diva of the day and this unfortunate situation that has been uncovered in the Atlanta School System.

          According to reports, the Atlanta Schools under former Superintendent Beverly Hall‘s leadership systematically created an environment in which educators allegedly conspired and compromised  the State’s Standardized Tests  by assisting tens of thousands of students with their test and corrected students answers after the tests were taken in order to achieve higher scores.  The financial incentive and federal dollars in which the schools and teachers would receive behind the student’s improved performance is said to be the main factor in this scandal.   School tests reportedly improved remarkably to the point of unbelievable, which I am sure sent up a red flag.

          After nearly two-years of investigation a grand jury has not only indicted Ms. Hall, but 34 others high-level administrators, teachers and employees in the school’s cheating scandal, with their main focus on the former superintendent stating without her it could not have occurred. Prosecutors states they intent to prosecute her to fullest extent of the law. (This case follows the last week “Most powerful woman in Mexico” post – if you have not read it scroll down and be enlightened).

            Ms. Hall was honored in 2009 and named National Superintendent of the Year by the Schools Superintendents Association.   It is stated that she oversaw the corruption, encouraged the cheating, covered up the wrongdoing, and then silenced anyone who spoke out against it – through job termination.

          Ms. Hall was awarded a $580,000 performance bonus connected to the overall school improvement through the tests according to reports.

          Ms. Hall denies and is preparing to fight the charges against her, which also includes Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act.  If she is convicted on these charges she faces up to 40 years in prison.

          In a report in the Huffington Post, a now 14-year-old girl stated that 5 years ago the teacher came around and asked her during the test if she needed help and she said no she had her own answer.  I find that amazing that a 9 year-old would remember taking a test five-year earlier and saying those exact words.  I have three very intelligent children who are not 13 and 15 and I am willing to bet they could not recall such an event five years ago, but you never know.

          I am having a hard time reasoning this situation in my mind, because as I just stated I have three in school and I know the weeks of preparation the school system take out to get these students ready to take these tests, which does not make a lot of sense to me unless for the same reason behind the Atlanta School situation.  To me these are supposed to be standard tests, which mean the information should be information the students should have already been taught and they should already know; if they do not know it they should not be in a grade level that is beyond their knowledge or learning ability until they do know it.   When I was a child we did not have these pressures on us and we did well on testes.  Basic knowledge has not change – √ of 144 is still 12.  H20 is still the symbol for water; Benjamin Franklin made the connection between electricity and lightening and so on.  

                Money should not be a carrot dangling in front of teachers or school officials. There are far too many teachers that I believe ‘should not be teaching’ and I believe the student’s grades are reflections of my point.  When you put a teacher in a classroom that is not qualified to teach a particular subject it is unfair to the students, because clearly they are not getting what they need.  You cannot have a teacher who is a great history teacher teaching Algebra, but this is what I am seeing in the school system – teachers teaching classes or subjects they are not the best at. 

          We need to go back to the basic and provide our students with the money needed in every school system.  Pay for well qualified teachers to teach the subjects they are best in and provide our children with all the classroom attention they need.

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Check-pointDecember 31st, 2016
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