Corrupt educators are threatening school reform
By Robert C. Bobb
Washinton Post Op-Ed, 2013-04-26

The recent 65-count cheating indictment against 35 Atlanta school officials,
including the superintendent,
has reignited an intense national debate
on the use of standardized test scores as a key feature in teacher evaluations.
“This says that something about our incentive system and our accountability system
is way off,”
Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers,
told the Christian Science Monitor.
The Post’s Valerie Strauss called the scandal
“the result of test-obsessed school reform.”

The Atlanta case may seem to be all about teachers and administrators
who faked students’ test scores to improve their own ratings.
But that analysis is far too narrow.
The problem in Atlanta is, simply, corruption.

An exploding culture of corruption
imperils public education in the United States.
Financial misconduct and outright theft
are depleting and misdirecting resources
critical for the nation’s children
to secure the skills and tools they’ll need
to become solid citizens and global competitors.

Nevertheless, these issues have been ignored by many education reformers.

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