By Heather Vogell
Across Atlanta Public Schools, staff worked feverishly in secret to transform testing failures into successes.
Teachers and principals erased and corrected mistakes on students’ answer sheets.
Area superintendents silenced whistle-blowers and rewarded subordinates who met academic goals by any means possible.
Superintendent Beverly Hall and her top aides ignored, buried, destroyed or altered complaints about misconduct, claimed ignorance of wrongdoing and accused naysayers of failing to believe in poor children’s ability to learn.
For years — as long as a decade — this was how the Atlanta school district produced gains on state curriculum tests. The scores soared so dramatically they brought national acclaim to Hall and the district, according to an investigative report released Tuesday by Gov. Nathan Deal.
"We were told that we needed to get the scores by any means necessary, and we were told that our jobs were on the line," former Atlanta Public Schools teacher Sidney Fells said.
The Republican President of the United States and the hereditary dynastic leader of the Democrats, Ted Kennedy, got together a decade ago and made up a law, No Child Left Behind, that said that every public school student in America had to score Proficient (on a scale that runs Below Basic, Basic, Proficient, Advanced) on tests that will be given about 34 months from now.
But, the states could make up, administer, and grade their own tests.
The whole foundation of education in America is based on lying and punishing truth-tellers (e.g., James Watson), so what else could have happened?