multiple-choice test photo

Photo by Alberto G.

The latest shock to hit American schools and
education reformers is the revelation that teachers and administrators have
been fiddling with test scores in Atlanta and, evidently, in D.C., Baltimore,
and half a dozen other locales.

In Georgia, where a state investigation
implicated 178 individuals in the Atlanta public schools for cheating on or
allowing cheating on the 2009 round of state assessments, Governor Nathan Deal declared that “when test results are falsified and students who
have not mastered the necessary material are promoted, our students are harmed,
parents lose sight of their child's true progress, and taxpayers are cheated.”
He’s right, of course. But, as destructive as the actual cheating is the cry from many directions that the remedy for it is to do away
with testing or radically reduce our reliance on its results as markers of
student and school performance.…

Unfortunately,, which originally published this piece, wouldn’t let us run more than
150 words of it here. To read the full essay, find
it here
on the opinion page.

Click to play

Click to listen to commentary on the Atlanta cheating scandal from the Education Gadfly Show podcast
Chester E. Finn, Jr.
Chester E. Finn, Jr. is a Distinguished Senior Fellow and President Emeritus of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.