From news service reports
READING, Penn. – The growing teacher test cheating scandal, most notably in Atlanta but painfully evident in states across the country, says more about the poor decisions of adults than it does the quality or accuracy of standardized tests, says the Reading (Pennsylvania) Eagle.
“…Eliminating the tests because some folks may succumb to baser instincts would be like banning automobiles because some folks drink and drive.”
Indictments in the Atlanta cheating scandal hardly had been issued before special interests began pointing to it as Exhibit A for why we should either trash the standardized tests or expand school choice.
Instead, as Atlanta would suggest, public school children “are subject to all manner of manipulation and disservice by people charged with educating them,” said columnist Cal Thomas, a school choice advocate. “Perhaps if parents had the freedom to send their children to a school they believed would offer them a better shot at true success they would fare better. Could school choice be the answer?”
This says that something about our incentive system and our accountability system is way off,” Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers and an advocate for scrapping the standardized tests, told The Christian Science Monitor.
Actually the situation in Atlanta said a lot about American culture and how money has become more important than integrity.
It is sad to say but we have seen it in almost every aspect of life in the United States, although it seems to be most prominent in professional sports, which offers huge paychecks for top performers. …
Indeed there have been many examples of cheating, and usually there is a tie to money, which certainly was the case in Atlanta.
The 35 defendants are accused of altering test scores in order to benefit from financial rewards associated with better results.
But there is nothing to suggest that school choice would deter such behavior. Indeed competition conceivably could encourage more cheating.
And eliminating the tests because some folks may succumb to baser instincts would be like banning automobiles because some folks drink and drive.
Just as professional sports have instituted drug testing to catch cheaters, the testing programs must make changes. But we will learn what those changes should be only after a thorough examination of how (the cheating) occurred and what might have prevented it.