Friday, August 5, 2011

Why am I not surprised

In a previous post:
Unfortunately, with the advent of high-stakes testing used to evaluate teachers and to tie pay to performance, incidents of cheating will likely more increase. Or perhaps what is best is that economists should stop advocating pay for performance -- is there more evidence that awarding stocks and options have resulted in better run companies or is there more evidence that this kind of pay for performance have resulted in accounting irregularities and stock manipulation?

Never before have so many had so much reason to cheat. Students’ scores are now used to determine whether teachers and principals are good or bad, whether teachers should get a bonus or be fired, whether a school is a success or failure.

A total of 89 schools — 28 in Philadelphia — had been flagged by the state for, among other things, an improbably high number of erasures, as well as questionable gains on reading and math tests. ...

Sixty of Georgia’s finest criminal investigators spent 10 months on it [Atlanta’s cheating scandal], and in the end turned up a major cheating scandal involving 178 teachers and principals — 82 of whom confessed — at 44 Atlanta schools, nearly half the district.

But for Pennsylvania:
The governor will be tested. Chester Community Charter School, which was heavily flagged in the 2009 study for “aberrant” erasures and test scores, is operated by Vahan Gureghian. Mr. Gureghian was the largest individual contributor to the governor’s election campaign last fall, giving more than $300,000.

In April the governor visited Mr. Gureghian’s charter, praising it as a model “that needs to be reported to all the people of Pennsylvania,” ...

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