UPDATE: Georgia cheating scandal

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by kcjo13, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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  3. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Justice system joining with the executive and legislative branches to encourage young people to avoid teaching as a career.
     
  5. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    OR, "encouraging" young people to have character, ethics, and morals and that if you choose to break the law, you will be held accountable.
     
  6. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    :thumb:
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I feel bad for all those teachers going to jail but, as the judge said, they made their bed and now they have to sleep in it. We have already had the discussion, but they chose to compromise their morals.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Any word on the length of their sentences? Has that been decided yet?
     
  9. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I read that will happen April 8th.
     
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I'm with Pashtun and a2z on this - too often young people see adults profiting in some manner by breaking the law, instead of getting civics lessons in what it means to uphold the law. Often if they are prosecuted, there are deals that negate the consequences, to the point that our young people believe that the only thing they did wrong was get caught.

    This judge has spelled out his feelings and interpretation of the law, and I hope that the young people will see this as a win for everyone who plays fair, does what's right because it is right, obeys laws because it is the right thing to do, and realizes that it takes backbone to stand your ground when the lawbreakers are assuring you "it will be OK."

    Many students have struggled in college, not knowing that they were being programmed for failure, and it wasn't even "personal." Honesty and integrity, high morals, and the ability to know what is and is not ethical is a very valuable lesson. I only wish so many children weren't hurt in this real life lesson. Teaching should be about drawing from the best and the brightest, the shining stars - I see nothing about this verdict that will dissuade that caliber of teacher candidate.
     
  11. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I've made my feelings known. They did something bad. I'm on board with them no longer being able to be teachers. They should be forced to pay back the bonuses they got.

    However...convicted felons who could be spending a couple of decades in prison? NO. You can tell me all you want that they didn't demonstrate high moral character, but that doesn't mean I'm going to agree with you that their lives should essentially be over.

    It amazes me how quickly people are ready to send people to prison. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. It's about 7 times the incarceration rate of Canada or the European average. Still, we want to just lock people up and throw away the key.

    People make mistakes and do bad things. They should be able to make amends and eventually move on. I disagree that it's a good life lesson to show kids that this often is just not possible here.
     
  12. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Until you're ready to say that ALL felons just made mistakes and did some bad things, then I have a hard time applying that to this situation, just because they are teachers.
     
  13. El sol

    El sol Rookie

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    Weird how one of the lawyers said it was teachers they were sentencing. Teaching is a profession. That's pretty much it. The moment the person commits a crime, he/she has to be accountable for it just like any other citizen. The same goes for sex offenders, just because they are teachers doesn't entitle them to a softer sentence than a non-teacher.
     
  14. bros

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    Some of them could get light sentences - GA law allows them to be fined up to 3x the amount they received as a result of the scheme, and they can always be given probation. They probably want prison sentences for the higher ups involved, however.
     
  15. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Waste of money. Take away their livelyhood and pensions and let them wonder what if. Why spend 40k a year for their bed and breakfast? They are not a threat to me or my kids or yours. Let them be an example to other teachers bowing to the God of testing and cheating.
     
  16. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Teachers who commit sex crimes, and that's a growing epidemic, get much less time, or basically they from what I have seen, havent been sent to jail even before the sentencing.

    Scare tactics don't work. They never have and never will. Or I suppose, if they start sentencing all the pedophile teachers more harshly, that would eliminate teachers who sleep with kids. Yeah right.
     
  17. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oh yeah, that judge was very clear!
     
  18. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I am not wanting to start a debate over the penal system, but I am seeking clarification. I think I am reading that you want less incarceration for all convicted felons, not just teachers. Is that correct?
     
  19. bros

    bros Phenom

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    A lot of the convicted felons are imprisoned for nonviolent offenses, like drugs.
     
  20. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    For non-violent offenders, I would rather have punishments that focus on restitution and reform than imprisonment. I think it would be better for us, as a society, to have more contributing members and less people behind bars living off tax dollars and consorting with other criminals. I also have an ethical problem with people's lives forever destroyed because of stupid mistakes they can't go back and change.

    Also, these teachers are felons because the state of Georgia convinced a jury that erasing and correcting bubbles on a standardized test was the same as racketeering committed by mobsters. :rolleyes:
     
  21. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Without wanting to get into an argument about the penal system, either, I do think a heavy fine would be more appropriate than a long jail sentence. Hopefully we'll have a reasonable outcome.
     
  22. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Heavy fines sound good, but if the person doesn't make enough to pay the fine, then there really isn't a punishment.

    Do you know how many people get sent back to prison for not being able to pay their fines and restitution because they can't manage to get a job that will support them and allow them to pay back the fine?

    There are no easy answers to all of this.
     
  23. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Interesting how you left off the financial gains part.
     
  24. luludc

    luludc Rookie

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    I agree there are no easy answers.

    The New Yorker article is very fascinating to me. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/07/21/wrong-answer

    I taught in an East Coast district similar to Atlanta for many years. My school was similar to the middle school described in the New Yorker article. The children's lives were a mess of poverty and chaos and as hard as the teachers tried, they just couldn't get the kids to pass.

    As far as I know, cheating was never an issue in my district, and I certainly don't condone what the teachers did. But I do remember the pressure placed on teachers by principals, which was a product of the pressure from district administrators. I remember the meetings berating teachers for not getting students to pass the test. The situations described in the article (minus the cheating) were so similar to the situations at my school.

    I'm glad to be out of that teaching environment. I agree the teachers and administrators deserve to be punished for their cheating, but I can't stop thinking about the culture of bullying and fear that was present in my district. Just a sad situation for everyone, the kids most of all. :(
     
  25. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    There definitely needs to be a punishment, and I can't decide if I think a bit of jail time or simply a hefty fine and loss of license is the answer. I'll let wiser folks than me decide it out.

    But a huge part of this education reform is to make students passive participants while placing all expectations on the teachers. Your students have too much on their plate to properly learn? Just aren't interested? Teacher's fault. I'm all for good teaching, but when we expect school systems to magically fix all of society's problems we're asking for trouble.
     
  26. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Can you go into some detail here? I don't really get this?
     
  27. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Ideally, all schools and teachers ought to be pushing students to take initiative, be proactive and involved in their learning. And I'm sure any district or politician would speak in agreement.

    But when it becomes all about numbers, for good or for bad, intentionally or not, all pressure gets shifted to schools and teachers. Conversation about students doing their best ceases.
     
  28. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    AH, ok, I do not see this happening at all. Where I work I am actually seeing the exact opposite.
     
  29. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    You're in the extreme minority then. Most of the country is heaping excessive pressure on teachers. For example, just look at what Andrew Cuomo in New York just did to his teachers.
     
  30. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I may be in the minority. But where I work, we are expressing that with the new standards and the increased rigor that the test "appears" to be testing, students and parents are going to have to take more responsibility.

    If a parent expects their 4th grade child to excel at 4th grade standards, they are GOING to be doing homework, they are GOING to have to memorize their math facts, the student is GOING to take on academic behaviors...etc. Much more emphasis on the student and parent.
     
  31. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    And in the rest of the country, all that responsibility, particularly from "the powers that be," is being heaped solely on the shoulders of teachers.
     
  32. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    So... as a teacher, talk to your parents, hold conferences, put some of that responsibility on the parents and students. Make it clear.
     
  33. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I'm sure the teachers in New York will be pleased to know that their careers will be saved if they just convince the state department of education that they did their part, and parents didn't do theirs.

    EDIT: I mean... even on this forum, how often do we see teachers ripping their hair out because they are trying to get parents involved, and it isn't happening?
     
  34. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    A great teacher once told me during my 1st year of teaching that he really enjoyed working with new teachers, he disliked being on grade level teams with veteran teachers. After a few years teaching and reading these forums, I understand why.
     
  35. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    So you disagree that many teachers put forth incredible effort to involve parents, only to get nothing in response? You don't agree that there are entire states where teachers are going to be held solely responsible for state test scores?

    Giving a passive-aggressive response like that doesn't do anything to clarify your position. If I'm saying something you disagree with, give me a way to understand where you're coming from.
     
  36. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I think that you are going to find many veteran teachers will be very offended by this comment, especially many of the veteran teachers on this forum.

    I do understand that your teaching experiences up to this point have been very positive. I am truly happy for you. There are schools that do not offer quite the positive experiences that you have. Many, many veteran teachers work at schools like those and spend their careers fighting mighty odds to get their students to succeed.

    So, please take those thoughts into consideration before coloring all veteran teachers with the same paintbrush.
     
  37. luludc

    luludc Rookie

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    OK...and if the parents don't come to the conferences, and you have no way to reach them because their phone has been disconnected? This is just a hypothetical example but was the reality for the majority of kids when I taught in an urban school.

    Many, many teachers in Title 1 schools have little to no parent involvement or support. Their kids are working years below grade level. And instead of support and remediation, districts like Atlanta are pushing for unattainable test scores. With the parents not around, and unwilling or unable to help, of course the burden falls on the teachers. And you have people like Arne Duncan perpetuating the myth of super teachers who can somehow overcome all these obstacles and singlehandedly push students to success.

    Come on. I mean, that's great for you that your school isn't like that, but I encourage you to educate yourself about the reality of teaching in a low performing school. Surely you can't be so naive as to think all schools are like yours.
     
  38. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I too was initially offended by his comments, years on the job has revealed many of the truths.


    To the other poster, I work at a title 1 school.
     
  39. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    So rather than turn to the educators who have had years of experience and see the real picture in education, he'd turn to new teachers who have no real conception of what the rigors and challenges of teaching really are in order to improve his craft?

    Seems mighty uninformed to me, and rather short-sighted.

    Sure it's great to see things with fresh and enthusiastic eyes but discounting experience and people who actually know what they're talking about is a horrible idea.
     
  40. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Nope, that is not at all what he was referring to.

    Edit: he was not a new teacher, he was a veteran teacher.
     
  41. gr3teacher

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    :banghead::banghead::banghead:
     

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