Education in America

Education in America: Cheating Scandals

I’m sure those of you that follow education have seen reports of cheating in DC, Atlanta, Florida and now possibly New Jersey. I’m not sure these will be the last reports we hear, either. A lot of the blame is falling on the teachers, even as principals and administrators are being implicated.

As a former teacher, I’m really conflicted. On one hand, teachers should have stood up for their professionalism, their students and their belief in our education system instead of participating in or condoning the cheating. On the other hand, many of the teachers in Atlanta are saying they were threatened with losing their jobs if they didn’t participate, and I think we can all recognize how hard it is to be the whistleblower. Especially in a time when it’s hard for teachers to find and keep jobs. Teachers are human, they worry about feeding their families and paying their bills just like the rest of us.

I thought I’d open up a discussion with you smart ladies (and gentlemen!). What do you think of these scandals? Why do you think they happened in the first place? What do you think should happen as a result, and to prevent it from happening again?

How would you feel if you found out your child’s school, or the neighborhood school nearest to you, was involved in a cheating scandal?

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

6 replies on “Education in America: Cheating Scandals”

They can, but Georgia, for example, is a non-union state. Most contracts won’t protect teachers from being fired for just cause, like cheating, even in a union state.
Unions will represent teachers in a a due process hearing, but they can’t stop them from being fired, in any case or for any cause. They just try to make the process fair to the teacher.

It doesn’t sound like the unions can help the teachers before they are fired only after it happens in some cases. I wouldn’t expect the teachers not to be fired for actual cheating but I was thinking the unions could help them if they were fired because they would not cheat in the first place.

In Atlanta, where there’s the most ink on the topic, it’s the superintendent. He sent out notices to 170+ teachers saying they either had to resign by yesterday or they would be fired. The teachers are claiming building admin (principals and deans) pressured them into cheating, and threatened to fire them if they didn’t. And again, Georgia is a right-to-work state, there isn’t a teacher’s union. Huffpo has been covering this pretty extensively, if you want to follow along.

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