Wednesday, July 6, 2011

APS - Making A Difference, Indeed

Atlanta Public Schools, the system with the third highest per pupil expenditure in the state, has been found to be guilty of “widespread cheating” with regard to 2009 CRCT scoring.  Also, the report noted that “a culture of fear, intimidation, and retaliation existed in APS, which created a conspiracy of silence and deniability with respect to standardized test misconduct.”

Some specifics of note:

  • Cheating was found in 44 of the 56 schools examined
  • 38 of 56 principals were found to be either responsible for or directly involved in cheating
  • 178 teachers and principals cheated, of whom 82 confessed
  • 6 principals cited the Fifth Amendment to avoid answering any questions
  • Cheating occurred as early as 2001
  • “Significant and clear” warnings of cheating were sounded as early as 2005 but were ignored
  • APS was guilty of “a major failure of leadership . . . with regard to the ethical administration of the 2009 CRCT”
  • Other improper conduct included several open records act violations, instance of false statements, and instances of document destruction
These findings will be turned over to local district attorneys for possible criminal prosecution.

No, this is not an indictment of all public education - but it sure as hell illustrates the potential for administrative misconduct on the part of those entrusted with our children's educations and our tax dollars.

As an aside, the two school systems that had higher per pupil expenditures for FY 2010 were Baker County (357 students) and Clay County (294 students).  Naturally, school systems of such a miniscule size have little opportunities to employ economies of scale insofar as fixed administrative and capital costs are concerned, thereby driving their per pupil expenditures up.  By contrast, Atlanta Public Schools (47,947 students) has approximately 74 times as many students as Baker and Clay Counties combined.

Addendum – Read the full report here:

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1 comment:

DHarman said...

Oh, but it's for the children!