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The cheating scandal in Atlanta public schools seems to be getting worse:

A new Georgia state report details the nation’s largest-ever cheating scandal, concluding that half of Atlanta’s schools allowed practices that inflated students’ scores to go unchecked for as long as a decade.

The want of integrity is widespread:

In the report, the governor’s special investigators describe an enterprise where unethical — and potentially illegal — behavior pierced every level of the bureaucracy, allowing district staff to reap praise and sometimes bonuses by misleading the children, parents and community they served.

There could be criminal charges!

The report accuses top district officials of wrongdoing that could lead to criminal charges in some cases.

This whole thing is criminal; I agree!  The crime was entirely the result of the Federal takeover of education.  Don’t believe me, believe MSNBC (hardly conservative!):

For teachers and their bosses, the stakes were high: Schools that perform poorly and fail to meet certain benchmarks under the federal law can face sharp sanctions. They may be forced to offer extra tutoring, allow parents to transfer children to better schools, or fire teachers and administrators who don’t pass muster. (emphasis mine)

No child left behind?  Right!  These children were left behind:

In Georgia, teachers complained to investigators that some 11-year-olds could only read as well as 6-year-olds. But, they said, principals insisted those students had to pass their standardized tests. Teachers were either ordered to cheat or pressured by administrators until they felt they had no choice, authorities said.

And these:

More than a dozen students interviewed by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution — including Tony Hughley, Valencia Tucker and Sebastian Mathis, quoted above — said all students are victims of the corrupt educators who, they believe, put their jobs above the student’s education.

And maybe this one:

Shawnna Hayes-Tavares said her son’s test scores dropped dramatically after he transferred out of Slater Elementary. She said a testing coordinator at the new school told her the test scores could have been inflated.

I agree with the one student who suggests the teachers ought not be blamed but rather the higher-ups.  The real blame ought to be placed in the lap of those who brought about Federal control of education.  This entire scandal was spawned by the No Child Left Behind law.

Administrators — pressured to maintain high scores under the federal No Child Left Behind law — punished or fired those who reported anything amiss and created a culture of “fear, intimidation and retaliation,” according to the report

This law, passed in 2001, was alas a product of a Congress and administration largely governed by so-called conservatives.  It is administrated by the United States Department of Education.

Lest one contend that this was an isolated incident, examine these cheating incidents in schools around the nation:

Houston, TX

Michigan public schools  (This expert says cheating is a major problem:)

About 1% to 2% of teachers cheat, said John Fremer, president of Caveon Testing Security, a Utah firm that contracts with states to deter cheating. However, he and other experts say it is a growing national problem because of the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law and movements in many states to tie teacher pay and evaluations to test scores.

Maryland schools, too!

When President Bush and the liberals were in alliance to take over education, there was one member of Congress who said no.  Cong. Ron Paul.  He would abolish the federal department of education and return significant authority to parents and local school districts:

Paul supports giving educational control back to parents, rather than allowing the federal government to fund the schools. He plans to discontinue the Department of Education and return its functions to the states.

Maybe the next awesome RP campaign commercial should speak to this issue.  Federal control and regulation of education is an utter failure and creates the threat of government indoctrination of children.  It ought to be abolished.  President Paul can do that without Congress by simply asking his Education Secretary to grant universal waivers from all educational programs such as NCLB (other than civil rights) until Congress agrees to abolish NCLB and the Department of Ed and return education to local control.


About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)


  1. Cheryl Laird says:

    education like journalism is gone for brainwashing-indoctrination and conformism–no individualism-questioning or debate–creating puppets of the state

  2. We need to change that. Now!


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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