The Big Think

July 8, 2011

Up in the Air

Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 11:23 pm

Great treehouses.

STS135

Filed under: Space,Technology — jasony @ 9:21 am

Launching in 5 minutes at NASA TV.

UPDATE: Good launch! Beautiful.

Tar, Feather, Rail

Filed under: Education — jasony @ 9:20 am

The Atlanta cheating scandal is getting out of control. I hadn’t heard much about it until today, but reading this article has made my educator-blood absolutely boil. The worst part?

Phyllis Brown, a southwest Atlanta parent with two children in the district, said the latest revelations are “horrible.” It is the children, she said, who face embarrassment if they are promoted to a higher grade only to find they aren’t ready for the more challenging work.

Still, she doesn’t believe teachers should be punished.

“It’s the people over them, that threatened them, that should be punished,” she said. “The ones from the building downtown, they should lose their jobs, they should lose their pensions. They are the ones who started this…

…At Venetian Hills, a group of teachers and administrators who dubbed themselves “the chosen ones” convened to change answers in the afternoons or during makeup testing days, investigators found. Principal Clarietta Davis, a testing coordinator told investigators, wore gloves while erasing to avoid leaving fingerprints on answer sheets….At Gideons Elementary, teachers sneaked tests off campus and held a weekend “changing party” at a teacher’s home in Douglas County to fix answers.

Cheating was “an open secret” at the school, the report said. The testing coordinator handed out answer-key transparencies to place over answer sheets so the job would go faster.”

Every single teacher and administrator who knowingly took part in this debacle needs to lose their job, with the leaders losing pensions and spending some time in jail. You do not exonerate teachers who erased test answers, changed testing cards, or had knowledge that their peers were doing such because you want to send a very strong message that, in the future, you need to report this kind of behavior, not hide behind the hope that you’ll be held innocent if it ever comes out. Where’s the backbone? How do you expect to teach your students honor and discipline (as well as hard work) if you aren’t willing to exemplify it? Every one of the teachers who took part in this scandal needs to be perp-walked to court and every teacher that attempted to blow the whistle on them (and got threatened or shut down) needs to be elevated to positions of leadership. That’s the message that a fair and just society sends to the next generation.

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