Educators Cheating? Who Knew?

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I did.test

It’s quite possible I’m the least surprised man in America about the cheating scandal in Atlanta, Georgia.

Educators would cheat on standardized tests?

Sure they would.

Why wouldn’t they?

The pressure.

The expectations.

The unrealistic goals.

The high-stakes game of testing we are forcing down our children’s throats.

This cheating scandal was bound to happen.

And it won’t be the last one.

Sooner or later it’s going to come out lots of schools have cut corners during testing.

Teachers and administrators aren’t any different than the rest of society.

From politicians to Tiger Woods, there are plenty of examples of people who are willing to cut corners to reach what they consider a worthy goal.

People cheat.

Newsflash… some even lie.

I would also add there are people who steal, but I don’t want to discourage you.

I wish it was different.

I wish the world we live in had higher standards, but it doesn’t.

We live in a short cut world.

A place where what’s good for me at this very moment trumps long-term integrity.

And sadly, it’s probably no different now than it was 50 years ago.

Or 500.

Or even a 1,000.

People are people.

And teachers and administrators are people.

So don’t be surprised a very small segment of educators got caught up in doing the wrong thing.

Because I’m not.

I’m also not surprised 99.99% of educators get up and go to school everyday and do the right thing.

And you shouldn’t be either.

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9 Responses to “Educators Cheating? Who Knew?”


  1. Karen
    on Jul 9th, 2011
    @ 5:28 am

    Well said.


  2. Beth
    on Jul 9th, 2011
    @ 5:58 am

    I’ve been asked my response to this and I wish I had said it as eloquently as you did. While cheating is wrong, it is also wrong to publicly humiliate teachers and administrators for not being able to honestly achieve an unattainable goal.


  3. Olivia
    on Jul 9th, 2011
    @ 5:33 pm

    Why is it wrong to publicly humilate teachers and administrators? The guilty should always be publicly announced for their wrong doing. I was taught that taking dime was stealing…so whether a dime or a dollar or ten million stolen it still stealing. I was taught right from wrong and I suffered consequences publicly when I was caught doing wrong. Why are teachers any different?


  4. wozza
    on Jul 9th, 2011
    @ 11:49 pm

    A vexed one – your hyperbolic 99.9% figure (remember – 75% of all statistics are made up) is at odds with your earlier hyperbolic ‘people cheat’ statement. Can you have it both ways? Sure you can, why not!?!

    I read the article that you hyperlinked and it seems to me that this is pretty serious stuff. I wonder if Gov, Deal ever cheated in a test? How about the stunned Secretary of Education Arne Duncan? Nothing in his student past? C’mon!!! Let’s get real Deal!

    Kids cheat and lie all the time (I was a Principal and students lied to me – yes really, and I am a parent to four wonderful people but they have lied to me as well – yes really). What do we do when we come across student cheating in a test? We give it zero and contact home! And our children? A telling off, a grounding, a reduction in candy allowance.

    Seems to me adults/schools that cheat should be given the same treatment and penalty. Yes I know we should be held to a higher behaviour code – we’re adults – but as you say – people cheat – so let’s use some common sense.

    Ring the parents!! Give them a zero and take away their candy allowance and then build a bridge.

    P.S. Last week in sand land and there are no students at school and only a few teachers. Bliss!


  5. wozza
    on Jul 10th, 2011
    @ 2:13 am

    By the way…what is this ‘cursive’ bizzo? ‘Scuze my ignorance, I was an English teacher in a secondary school in Nu Zild and my students all came equipped with pens and wrote stuff when asked without any problem.

    Does that mean kids won’t be taught how to write in Amerikan schools? Forgive me again, but this just seems dumb. What’s next – reading is seen as redundant?

    I know we live in a vastly different world to the one you and I experienced as students.

    For instance, my youngest daughter (Jade) who was visiting us for two weeks, and I, and she who must be obeyed had breakfast last week at a place in Dubai – at the table next to us were three little children (age range about 3 to 6) with two teenage girls wearing abeyas, so they were all locals. All were playing/using their ipads while having their breakfast. Jade, SWMBO, and I sat amazed as we watched the three year old in particular use his ipad like a pro, and I said to Jade – “Imagine how computer literate he’s going to be as a teenager”.

    This is all well and good, but he’ll still need to read and write. Right?!! Right?!!!!


  6. Jim J.
    on Jul 11th, 2011
    @ 10:17 am

    While I don’t condone the educators who cheated in Georgia, I put the onus of the problem on those who mandated testing for all students. It’s only been since the politicians told educators what needed to be taught that we’ve had this standardized testing held up as the ONLY measure of school success & student learning. Of course, the fact that the testing in place only measures core subjects and disregards all others that we historically consider critical for a ‘well-rounded’ education also speaks volumes about our priorities as a society.

    Michael Smith Reply:

    @Jim J., Our society is slightly out-of-whack.

    And by slightly, I mean completely.


  7. Masters in Teaching
    on Jul 18th, 2011
    @ 4:44 pm

    Thank you for posting. It is a short cut world, but I would just hope that the people educating the future generation are not taking short cuts.


  8. Charlie A. Roy
    on Jul 31st, 2011
    @ 7:28 pm

    I would imagine we should as educators look to the ethics of the business world to save us. Enron, Madoff, AIG, Goldman? Someone?

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