By John W. Lillpop
Teachers and others in the education community in Atlanta have been charged with an unspeakable crime: Robbing children, mostly poor African-Americans, of the opportunity to gain insight into their progress, or lack thereof, in learning within the public school system.
Unbelievably, professional teachers and higher education officials, engaged in a monstrous conspiracy to deliberately falsify test scores to create the impression that certain schools were making progress in improving test scores.
As reported at the reference, this outrageous behavior has inflected enormous harm on the very students it purported to help: Poor, black students:
According to The New York Times, the scandal goes beyond cheating. Retired district superintendent Beverly L. Hall is among 35 Atlanta educators indicted by a Fulton County grand jury. Ms. Hall was charged with "racketeering, theft, influencing witnesses, conspiracy and making false statements." Ms. Hall reportedly earned more than $500,000 in performance bonuses. She faces up to 45 years in prison.
Ms. Hall has received considerable recognition for her achievements, which later turned out to be counterfeit. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan invited her to the White House. In 2009, The American Association of School Administrators named her superintendent of the year. It was a case of something being too good to check. Who doesn't want to see poor and minority children succeed in school? It appears these teachers cared more about themselves than the children. Even the reliably liberal and pro-public school columnist Eugene Robinson is disturbed. Writing in The Washington Post, Mr. Robinson says, "It is time to acknowledge that the fashionable theory of school reform -- requiring that pay and job security for teachers, principals and administrators depend on their students' standardized test scores -- is at best a well-intentioned mistake, and at worst nothing but a racket."
Mr. Robinson quotes Post education reporter Valerie Strauss, who has written that while there have been "dozens" of allegations of cheating around the country, "only Atlanta's has been aggressively and thoroughly investigated." Ms. Strauss wrote, "We don't really know" how widespread the problem might be. Isn't it long past time to find out?"
In the era of entitlement mania where 47 % of the population do not work or pay taxes, how in the hell is it possible to convince young folks to work hard and get a good education when Beverly L. Hall is paid $500,000 for implementing policies that make hard work and education meaningless?
Black children face difficult odds in today’s world. How does it in any way help these needy youth by covering up their true needs with fraudulent test scores?
And where is the rage from Reverends Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the Congressional Black Congress over the fraud which cheats young blacks?
Where is President Obama on this racist crime spree?
Why are black leaders not outraged that teachers and managers like Beverly L. Hall are, in effect, saying that black children are not bright enough to learn without cheating?