Gov. Nathan Deal says he is “alarmed” by a recent state report on cheating on national standardized tests in Georgia’s public schools, this time in Dougherty County. Investigators digging around found evidence of cheating in nearly one-half of the 26 schools in the system of 16,000 students on Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests in 2009.
Educators cheated by replacing wrong responses by students with correct answers at 11 of the system’s schools. All totaled, 49 teachers were involved in the scandal.
Cheating on the CRCT is not a problem that’s limited to Dougherty County. Other public school systems in the state also have been caught tampering with the tests. There was even an incidence in Glynn County several years ago.
That is probably why Gov. Deal, when reacting to results of the Dougherty County investigations, used the word “alarming.”
He did not say he was surprised. He didn’t because this underhanded practice seems to be widespread now. More schools and school systems are suspected of cheating and are being investigated.
No one can defend cheating as a proper course of action. It’s wrong. Period. It’s especially wrong when it involves promoting children who are not qualified for advancement to the next grade level. It sets the student or students on a straight path to failure. It’s difficult to understand Step 3 without knowing Step 2.
So what can or should the state do?
What it’s doing now, which is reporting those caught cheating to the Professional Standards Commission. It shouldn’t stop there, though. It should strive to find out why educators feel compelled to fudge, what’s forcing them to be dishonest, and aggressively address the cause or causes.
— Brunswick News