Our children are being robbed of opportunities for real learning, and being socialized into the reward, punish, and silence work culture of the Atlanta schools and other systems dominated by fear and compliance.
Allocating one day out of 180 days of teaching to celebrate teachers when they are put down the rest of the year is just patronizing. If we really want to honor and celebrate teachers, let's show them some respect, support and encouragement.
Jobs were on the line. Money and glory were in the offing. One need only look to Wall Street, Las Vegas, or professional sports to see that any time meaningful consequences are involved, some folks are going to try to con the system.
When all that matters is test results, people will do everything they can to make them look good. High-stakes testing gives the message that the process doesn't matter -- not even for teachers. High-stakes testing puts the attention on the measurable: simple answers to simple questions.
Perhaps the best way to think of these cheating scandals is that they are the result of a natural experiment: What happens when you change incentives so that low test numbers translate into pain and high test numbers translate into rewards?