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Goal of Public Education Needs To Be Overhauled

Hal O’Leary

May 5, 2013
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

The Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal finally brings to light what I saw coming years ago. I predicted that the whole concept of standardized testing would lead inevitably to cheating, not only on the part of the victimized student but on the part of teachers, principals and even administrations. The temptation proved to be too great. An investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation released in July 2011 found that 44 out of 56 schools cheated on state-administered standardized tests. More than 150 teachers and principals confessed to have fixed incorrect answers on test papers. Their excuse was that the pressure to "meet targets" set by administrations with the threat of negative evaluation or termination if they did not was simply too great. And it's not just Atlanta. We now find ourselves reading newspaper headlines like:

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