A must-read: Atlanta schools cheating scandal implodes
For those who were still deciding how to brand Baltimore's cheating problem--this is an example of "widespread" cheating.
On Tuesday, a special investigation team convened by the Georgia governor released a report that revealed cheating in 44 of the 58 Atlanta public schools that were investigated--and found that a code of silence, retaliation and suppression of public information allowed the rampant improprieties to take place for at least a decade.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the paper that first uncovered cheating in the Atlanta school system more than a year ago, "the voluminous report names 178 educators, including 38 principals, as participants in cheating. More than 80 confessed. The investigators said they confirmed cheating in 44 of 56 schools they examined."
According to the AJC, the investigation launched by George officials is arguably the most wide-ranging investigation into test-cheating in a public school district ever conducted in United States history, including 2,100 interviews more than 800,000 documents.
Atlanta's superintendent Beverly Hall, a 2009 Superintendent of the Year who reports say was lauded nationally for turning around struggling school districts and exceeding the tenure of most urban superintendents, retired last month amid the investigation, which includes criminal probes.
According to the AJC article, investigators cited the following as the key reasons that cheating flourished in Atlanta: "The district set unrealistic test-score goals, or “targets,” a culture of pressure and retaliation spread throughout the district, and Hall emphasized test results and public praise at the expense of ethics."