All Articles Tagged "standardized tests"
(AJC) — Atlanta’s school cheating scandal, one of the largest in U.S. history, has launched a national discussion about whether the increased use of high-stakes tests to rate educators will trigger similar episodes in the years ahead. Pressure to meet testing targets was a major reason cheating took place in 44 Atlanta schools involving 178 educators, according to a state investigation released last week. The revelations, called “deeply disturbing” by the Obama administration, have tarnished Atlanta’s Cinderella story of school reform. This comes as Georgia and states across the country are working on new strategies to retain, pay and promote teachers and principals based — in large part — on how much growth students show on standardized tests. Starting next year in 26 Georgia districts, student test data will count as 50 percent in pilot evaluations of teachers in core subjects such as math and science.
(AJC) –Interim Superintendent Erroll Davis replaced four area superintendents with principals Monday and former school board chairman Khaatim Sherrer El announced his resignation in the continuing fallout from a cheating scandal that has overwhelmed Atlanta Public Schools. ”I just concluded in the end it just shouldn’t be this hard to do the right things for kids,” El said, his voice wavering with emotion as he fought back tears. “I failed to protect thousands of children who come from homes like mine. It remains to be seen, no matter how deep this thing goes, whether the soul of Atlanta has been stirred.” El had been removed last month as school board chairman but able to retain his seat on the board. El has accepted a new job as chief of staff for the Foundation for Newark’s Future in Newark, N.J. He was one of the first on the board last year to question APS whether was doing enough to respond to cheating concerns.
(AJC) — State investigators have uncovered a decade of systemic cheating in the Atlanta Public Schools and conclude that Superintendent Beverly Hall knew or should have known about it, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned. In a report that Gov. Nathan Deal planned to release today, the investigators name nearly 180 educators, including more than three dozen principals, as participants in cheating on state curriculum tests, officials said over the weekend. The investigators obtained scores of confessions. The findings suggest the national accolades that Hall and the school system have collected — and the much-vaunted academic progress for which she claimed credit — were based on falsehoods. Raising test scores apparently became a higher priority than conducting the district’s business in an ethical manner.
(AJC) — The state Board of Education did Wednesday what some had advocated for the past decade: eliminated the requirement students pass the Georgia High School Graduation Test to receive a diploma. The test, which has been the gateway to high school graduation since 1995, no longer will be given to students starting with next fall’s freshman class and will be phased out for current students. ”I appreciate the state board’s vote that finally allows us to move away from the GHSGT,” state school Superintendent John Barge said after the board’s unanimous vote. All students are required to pass eight mandatory classes to graduate from high school. The plan approved Wednesday ups the pressure on them, starting with next year’s freshman class, to score better on the end-of-course tests in each of the eight classes. Those tests currently account for 15 percent of a student’s final class grade, but starting with next year’s freshman class that will be upped to 20 percent.
(New York Times) — Does President Obama believe standardized testing has gone too far? Mr. Obama criticized “high-stakes” tests last week at a town-hall-style meeting, contrasting them with less-pressured tests his daughters took in their Washington private school. Those remarks, which did not receive wide coverage at the time, have since prompted close followers of education policy to wonder whether the president opposes his own Education Department. In the public forum, hosted by the Spanish broadcaster Univision on March 28, a high school student, Luis Zeyala, asked the president if there could be less testing in schools. Mr. Obama agreed that “we have piled on a lot of standardized tests” under federal education law, meaning the annual proficiency tests in reading and math given to Grades 3 through 8 as well as once in high school.
(AJC) — Four Atlanta school principals, including those from campuses under the most suspicion in an ongoing test cheating probe, have retired from the city school system. Two of the four principals — Gideons Elementary School’s Armstead Salters and Venetian Hills Elementary School’s Clarietta Davis — were reassigned to other jobs in August after a local investigating panel said wholesale changes were needed at their schools and 10 others. Salters, who was named Principal of the Year in 2008 by the National Alliance of Black School Educators, retired as of Nov. 30.
(New York Times) — The city’s teachers’ union said on Wednesday that it would request a restraining order to prevent education officials from releasing reports that rate thousands of city teachers based on how much progress students made on state standardized tests. The release of the reports, if a judge does not block it, would propel New York City to the center of a national debate about how student test scores should be used to evaluate teachers and whether news media organizations should release the ratings of teachers to the public as a measure of their performance. The reports include the names of teachers and their schools.