What the Atlanta Cheating Scandal Reflects About Today’s Testing Methods
Career Path : Education News
This week, a dozen public school educators are on trial for allegedly faking the scores on standardized tests, in order to protect their jobs and win bonuses from administrators. The urban Atlanta school district has already been found of cheating once before in 2011, when 178 principals and teachers were found guilty cheating on standardized tests.
The Atlanta educators are accused of holding “cheating parties” where teachers gathered, ate, and corrected wrong answers on tests. Many of the defendants are of African-American decent, and say their struggling children have been denied thousands of dollars in government tutoring because test results showed they were doing fine.
These trials bring light to the pressure standardized testing puts on both students and teachers. Teachers are required to ensure students pass on tests in order to keep tenure or their existing jobs. Meanwhile, students have very different learning styles, especially at a public school age, and not everyone performs adequately in test situations. The standardized testing method to rate academic achievement has been used since Victorian times, and is modeled off Chinese schooling. Now, standardized tests are the preferred testing method of schools, because they are inexpensive and easy to grade via multiple choice computerized grading programs. Many educators in North America have spoken out against the detrimental effects of standardized tests on student’s learning, which you can read about here.
Source: New York Times