It’s Not Just Kids Who Cheat on Tests…

The school system is only one problem in the United States, but the problem seems to be bigger than we all thought. In the Atlanta school system in Georgia, 178 teachers and administrators were recently accused of cheating on standardized tests. What’s even more alarming is that this cheating had gone all the way back since 2001 and some school principals were coercing teachers into cheating.

When I was in school, North Carolina had (and still has) a standardized test called the EOG (end of grade) that 3rd through 8th graders had to take to get into the next grade. In high school, they’re called EOCs (end of course). The test was a Scantron form – an answer sheet that had to be filled in with a #2 pencil. The test in Georgia is called the CRCT (criterion reference competency test – a mouthful!) and it’s essentially the same thing; each state has a different test for evaluating students.

Teachers and administrators in Georgia were accused of gathering up all the answer sheets and changing students’ wrong answers to right, so they could achieve higher test scores (and thus a better reputation) for their school. It’s low. It’s dirty. And it’s rather sickening. Kids that barely performed at grade level were suddenly acing tests and being promoted to the next grade, even when they couldn’t handle the material. That’s not doing anyone any favors at all. Teachers and administrators, who should be looking out for students’ well-being, are actually hurting them.

But teachers were afraid that if their classes didn’t perform to the state’s standards and do well on the test, that they would lose their jobs. And because the scores on the tests were getting higher and higher as the years went on, the standards got higher and higher, so the cycle of cheating had to continue in order to meet those standards. What’s really scary is that if it happened in Georgia, it’s more than likely happening in other states in the nation. Georgia just happened to get found out.

The moral of the story is: Something needs to be done about standardized tests, and as I’ve said on this blog before, I believe they should be eliminated because they seem to be doing far more harm than good.

6 thoughts on “It’s Not Just Kids Who Cheat on Tests…

  1. I am shocked, horrified, and not a bit surprised by this. We are way too focused on competition rather than cooperation ~ everyone wants a bigger piece of the pie.

    I’m glad I don’t have kids . . . especially in the Georgia school system. Or any other school system where the focus is on cutting corners rather than teaching kids.

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    1. I’m honestly afraid to have kids with the state of the world as it is. And it is sad that the focus on competition is more important than focusing on cooperating and caring about others.

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  2. Hi, Maggie. I hope my “out on a limb” responses to your excellent and challenging posts don’t alienate me here, but so often you lay down something that just cries for a response. I’m weak, I tell you, weak! (grin)

    It is sad, but not surprising.

    Humans are “evidence gatherers”. We can find evidence to support any stand that we happen to like. The path to convincing ourselves that doing something that would normally be considered wrong is OK, because… may be long and tortuous, but the more we want something, the easier it becomes.

    Oh, and the more often we do it, the easier it is to do it again.

    I think the issue is “entitlement”.

    Somewhere along the road, we have decided that justice (a technical, but not necessarily moral concept) is the same thing as “fairness”. To be straight, fairness is totally subjective, but in essence it means either “if you get it, I get it too”, or “if you do it to me, I get to do it to you”.

    We laugh when a child claims it is unfair when he is told he must go to bed at 9PM, but we bristle when somebody else gets what we want, and we can’t have it.

    It is entitlement.

    The teachers are entitled to the kind of pay and recognition other teachers, who apparently do a better job than they do. So it is OK to stretch things (not cheat! Not cheat! Just stretch, just exaggerate. Just balancing things out!)

    In our pretend-moral world a lot of people will puff themselves up and say they don’t lie, they don’t cheat, they don’t feel cheated because someone else got what they want. That they don’t feel entitlement to whatever it is they want.

    But, listen to the radio (especially), and the plethora of ads for ways to duck out from your debts, to “get the freedom from debt that you deserve!” They’re everywhere.

    We’re not responsible anymore.

    We’ve become a nation of victims, and it is OK for a victim to do whatever is necessary to survive.

    Right?

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    1. That’s exactly right. It’s sad that humanity is like this, but people really do need to take responsibility. Thanks for the comment, Rik!

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