5 reasons the Atlanta Public Schools cheating indictments are absurd

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In a move that would only be another waste of taxpayer’s money, the Fulton County grand jury indicted former Atlanta Public School superintendent Beverly Hall and 34 other teachers and administrators.

They are being charged with racketeering and conspiracy to cheat on standardized tests to further their own financial gain.

However, the indictments have only become a witch hunt to destroy black American educators who were given very few choices considering the circumstances.

Although cheating should never be permissible, the punishment that these educators are facing does not fit the crime.

We all must remember, George Bush and his allies were forgiven for lying about “weapons of mass destruction” in the Middle East. The war cost taxpayer’s billions of dollars and thousands of lives were lost for no reason. Again, no one was indicted or put behind bars.

Furthermore, the bankers and mortgage companies who were responsible for the financial crisis never did one day behind bars. Our country continues to suffer from that mishap of greed and selfishness. In fact, the banks were rewarded with bail out money instead of being indicted for that costly debacle.

But teachers who cheated due to a flawed system should not be indicted.

Here are five reasons the Atlanta Public School teacher indictments are absurd.

George Bush’s Insane “No Child Left Behind”

In 2001, President George Bush decided to implement the ludicrous doctrine, No Child Left Behind. The federal policy made test scores king and threatened to close schools with low scores, and reward schools with high ones. As a result, the idea of educating students was left behind to push for higher test scores.

Unrealistic Goals

The teachers were evaluated and paid according to how well their students performed on standardized tests — despite research showing that test-driven reform doesn’t make an impact on achievement. The goals were unrealistic, considering many of the students weren’t prepared to take the tests.

Lack of Funding for After School Programs

While No Child Left Behind focused on test scores, there wasn’t an overall focus on setting aside more funding for After School and weekend programs that would allow students to gain extra hours of education. As a result, most teachers knew that student test scores would not show significant improvements in a short period of time without extra tools for educating those in need.

Flawed System

When test results are king, they are used to rank teachers, schools, and as a result, determine the career fortunes of an entire school system. No one outside of the APS expected the low achieving schools to show dramatic improvement. But when careers are decided by test scores, giving ill-prepared students the answers may seem like the only option.

In turn, the same state administrators and parents who were upset about the cheating would have been more upset if the test scores remained pathetic.

Breakdown of Family Structure

Unfortunately, many of the kids who attend low performing schools come from families that don’t focus on the importance of education or are unable to properly educate inside the home. I’ve heard countless stories from teachers who deal with students who come from unstable homes. How can a student be prepared for the CRCT when his mother is clubbing until 2 a.m. on school nights, his uncle lays on the couch all day drinking beer and smoking marijuana, or his older cousins are playing music all night when he tries to sleep? When is there an opportunity to learn outside the walls of the school for these kids? This is the story of many of the kids who didn’t have a chance of passing without extra hours of help that should’ve been provided by the extremely flawed No Child Left Behind program.

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