As CNN Reports:
In what has been described as one of the largest cheating scandals to hit the nation's public education system, 35 Atlanta Public Schools educators and administrators were indicted Friday on charges of racketeering and corruption.
[. . .]
About 180 teachers were initially implicated in the scandal.
[. . .]
For at least a period of four years, between 2005 and 2009, test answers were altered, fabricated and falsely certified, the indictment said.
Hall [the former superintendent] allegedly oversaw a system where threats and intimidation were used against teachers, it said.
"As a result, cheating became more and more prevalent," the indictment said.
By the time the 2009 Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, as the standardized test is known, was administered in Atlanta Public Schools, "cheating was taking place in a majority of APS's 83 elementary and middle schools."
While the courts need to be allowed to make judgments in this case, I have one question: How could this have happened?
Didn't someone think this was wrong? Why didn't someone try and blow the whistle on this earlier?
I don't have an answer. I wasn't there and I'm not terribly interested in researching the topic. But one thing occurred to me while I was thinking through this news story. Do teachers have to take a professional ethics class as a part of their education and certification?
I asked my wife about this because she has been a licensed elementary teacher in New York, California and Michigan. And in her education, there was no ethics class for her major.
Now, I don't know if other colleges or states require an ethics class for primary or secondary teachers, but they should! Almost every other profession I can think of requires some sort of ethics class and/or training. Pastors, lawyers, doctors, many of the sciences, etc., all require professional ethics training as a part of their program.
Now, I'm not teacher-bashing here! I love teachers! My mother is a teacher at a public school and I married a public school teacher!
But it seems to me the teachers need to be given the tools of an ethics class, tailor-made for their profession, because right now the ethics of the Atlanta Public Schools consisted of doing whatever the superintendent wanted.
I'm wondering if any teachers reading this have had a professional ethics class or training. Do you have a different take on this story? (And you probably do have a better perspective than me!)