Thanks a boatload.

So let’s raise a glass to the wonderful Atlanta School District educators who decided that it would be a good idea to cheat on the state tests.

Thanks, guys. Seriously!  Public schools aren’t getting enough negative attention these days; we really needed to give some ammunition to those who love to call us lazy and failing and broken and useless.

And you know what? As someone who has complained long and loud about the dangers and unfairness of tying teacher pay to test scores, I still don’t want to hear your feeble excuses about why you did what you did.

Trust me, I understand the temptation to help a struggling kid when you KNOW that he really knows the answer, but that he is too anxious/impulsive/learning disabled to formulate it on paper.   I understand.

I know how it feels to stand there and refuse to help your kids understand the question that is being asked on a test that was clearly written by someone’s aging, Croatian speaking, alcoholic uncle.  I know. I do.

But none of that matters.

You are teachers.  We are all teachers.  We owe it to each other, if not to our students, to maintain our ethics and our honor and our honesty.

We are teachers.   We. Do. Not. Cheat.   Period.

So thanks so very much for refocusing the laser beam of those who want to undercut us and take away what little respect we have left.

I hope beyond all hope that there is a big, giant inquiry and that you are all found innocent of any wrong doing.  I hope that all teachers can look our detractors in the eye and say, “See?  We told you!”

But, honestly, Atlanta teachers? I am not holding my breath.


3 responses to this post.

  1. The teachers must have felt crushing, mind-numbing pressure. I’m not trying to excuse–just understand. What makes essentially good, well-intentioned people make terrible decisions? Fear? Insecurity? Feeling trapped? Feeling that their success, their very livelihood depends on the performance of others?

    Ugh–it’s all just so sad.


    • I know! When they first suggested tying teacher evaluations to student test scores, I knew this would happen. I’m sure you remember that a lot of teachers predicted this kind of thing.
      Still, there is no excuse to this level of cheating. It hurts the whole profession, and it just makes me so sad.


  2. One day my boss suggested I “help” the final test scores of some important (i.e., rich, foreign-national) students. I refused, and told him that, since he was the boss, he could do what he thought best, but as for me, I wouldn’t do it. I didn’t come back the next season.

    In my eyes, there’s no excuse big enough to explain what they did. If they can’t fulfill the requirements of the profession, hard to meet as they are, then they should find another way to put bread on the table. And, for the sake of the children who look to them for what is “right” in society, they should do it soon.


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