Incentivized standardized tests are designed hold teachers and schools accountable for student performance, but they also provide plenty of motivation to artificially inflate test scores. A teacher in Atlanta helped expose her colleagues of doing just that.
CNN reports her suspicion helped lead to the revelation that 178 teachers and administrators at 44 Atlanta schools were somehow involved in score inflation.
The teacher, who was a witness in a state investigation, said she suspected chicanery when other teachers’ students started making her kids — and in turn, her — look bad:
“I started believing that I wasn’t a good teacher. Other teachers were coming in with these perfect scores and mine are not so perfect. I mean they weren’t bad, they were just normal.”
When the teacher initially brought her concerns to her principal about how kids who couldn’t read or count did so well on the tests, he dismissed her insinuation, calling the kids “good guessers.” Now some teachers and administrators are facing criminal charges, having guessed incorrectly that they wouldn’t be caught.