Friday, February 12, 2010

Cheating on tests...

The New York Times reports today that there is the suspicion of widespread cheating on student testing in Georgia. Looks like somebody--kids? teachers? administrators?--erased a large number of incorrect answers and replaced them with the correct answers.
Further on the article it states:

Principals and teachers are under intense pressure to improve scores. If schools fail under No Child Left Behind, they are placed in a “needs improvement” category and must offer extra tutoring and allow parents to transfer their children to higher performing schools.

And further on the article comments:

In October, The Journal-Constitution identified 10 Atlanta schools that had an extraordinary gain in scores, including two that went from among the worst to among the best in a year. Officials at the district, which gives $2,000 cash bonuses to educators at schools that meet improvement goals, said they did not believe there had been cheating. All of those schools are now on the “severe concern” list.

Maybe we thought Educators were some kind of sainted human beings who would not fall prey to the external pressures of greed and an avoidance of shame?

So how are we thinking about that "pay for performance" option for teachers? Any chance that some teachers might fudge things with the kids a little bit if earning power is on the line?
Naw....that would never happen.