I am sad to say that I wasn't that surprised by the cheating scandal to come out of Atlanta. It seems that any time a school district makes amazing progress a scandal is sure to follow.
My question is why. Why can't we seem to figure out how to educate our children?
I know a lot of people are talking about the evils of high stakes standardized testing, but I really don't think low test scores are the problem - they are just a symptom.
I realize that as a teacher I am supposed to hate state testing, but I don't. I realize that it may not be the best way to assess all students, but it does give us a picture of how are students are progressing. A kid that knows their stuff will do fine on a state test ( I do realize there are some people who are just bad test takers, but I do believe they are the exception and their data should be easy to spot.)
I do not believe schools and teachers should be expected to get every student passing a standardized test. That just doesn't make sense when kids are coming in and out of classrooms so often (I have had at least 15 changes to my class roster in the past five months alone) standardized tests work for showing how much progress a student has made in a year, but if you have been the child's teacher for a month how can you be held responsible for an entire year?