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KBSI Perspective
The Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal is a mess and it reminds me that paying teachers for raising test scores of students is just a bad idea. I spent eight years teaching in a high school decades ago and quickly learned that classrooms are not factories. Education is not a production line. Teachers have to work at various skill levels based on student abilities and it is a difficult process. The Atlanta cheating scandal first surfaced back in 2008 when the city’s newspaper found “statistical improbable increases” in scores for the CRCT test in one school. More investigations led to problems with dozens of educators in 58 schools and a whole bunch was arrested. Many were embarrassed by doing the famous “perp” walk in front of the news cameras. Former superintendent Beverly Hall was at the top of the list. She faces charges of racketeering, false statements and theft because prosecutors said some of her bonuses were tied to student test scores that, allegedly, were falsified. She must have known something was up because just a few days before the investigation came to light in 2011 she quickly retired. This is serious stuff. Some children do not catch up and not only do they suffer but it places a strain on our society. Look, these educators need to be punished but, in my perspective tying bonus money to testing performance is just the wrong way to promote quality education.Atlanta Public School Scandal


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