178 teachers and 38 principals in one Atlanta's best performing school districts have just been caught participating in "a massive test cheating scandal," revealed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. According to Color Lines, "The GBI investigation confirmed cheating in 44 of 56 public schools they looked into. Eighty teachers confessed to participating in the district's cheating." The district garnered a lot of attention in recent years for significant hikes in standardized test scores. The GBI's report suggests that the cheating could have been spurred by "politicians and school officials [who] set and enforced unreasonable targets for yearly testing progress that were to be met at any cost. This in turn helped institute a culture of fear and intimidation throughout the district." Back in October of 2010, after the investigation had just gotten under way, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan insisted that Atlanta city schools Superintendent Beverley Hall and Governor Sonny Perdue "were dedicated to what was best for the children" and emphasized the "double-digit gains" made by Atlanta students on the national exams. "Whatever the outcome of the state investigation, these accomplishments should not go unrecognized," he told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Now, Color Lines writes, those accomplishments are being questioned.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.