By Kim Dancy
"This September, more than 49 million students will return to public school classrooms across the country. By June, these students will have received a minimum of 160 days of instruction from nearly four million teachers. These same students will complete a gauntlet of tests, designed to measure academic proficiency in reading, math and other subjects, and their scores will influence whether teachers get bonuses or pink slips, not to mention which schools get shut down entirely. With such high stakes associated with these exams, it’s no wonder that some school officials have resorted to extreme measures to mask low or declining student performance.
"Suspicions of widespread cheating first broke in Atlanta in 2009. Since then, the phenomenon has snowballed: allegations have surfaced in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Detroit, Denver, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Houston and Memphis, just to name a few. Then there are the horror stories—the principals who forced their teachers to crawl under tables at meetings as punishment for refusing to cheat, or the purported “answer changing parties” that were held by school administrators. As sensationalist as these anecdotes may be, they’re indicative of a pervasive and daunting trend in the world of K-12 education."