District of Columbia - One thing that the majority of Western culture despises above all else is cheating, but has cheating become the norm for educators across the country? In the District of Columbia’s Public Charter School System, Constable Court Services has discovered that America’s school system has drifted from being a nation that values learning and achievement, to valuing larger enrollment which equals more funding. If I have lost you for a moment, just hold on while I bring you up to speed. Through an investigation conducted by Constable Court Service into a local public charter school, we found a culture of rampant grade falsification and cheating on standardized test scores—not by children—but by high level administrators seeking to boost their school’s performance ratings which are monitored by the DC Public Charter School Board. We found several school administrators assigning fictitious grades to entire classrooms—particularly “core” classes that are required for students to be promoted to the next grade level or graduate with high enough grades to get into college. In the end, the school’s public charter ranking is inflated, which attracts more students and families to enroll their students there thinking they will get a high quality education. Think again. America admires hard-working people by rewarding those who achieve its level of success with money, certifications, degrees and other accolades. What has been discovered in the school system, is that teachers, in an effort to maintain employment, will falsify test scores and grades at the behest of unscrupulous administrators. In some cases, the administrators will offer “bonuses” to teachers who submit.
This culture of cheating may be the product of the now defunct No Child Left Behind law. Whatever the case may be, our government embraced standardized testing as a definitive means of measuring the success of teachers, and in turn, their job security. Under this pressure, one might do anything to stay gainfully employed.
The progress of the child should never be solely measured by test scores. Learning is the culmination of experiences that children are exposed to including ethics, traditions, beliefs, standards of living, etc... Whatever it is that society values will ultimately have an impact on our children’s values. Your environment can often dictate your success.
Make no doubt about it, the things that the baby boomers hold to be fundamentally important are no longer relevant in the classroom. The “3 R's”: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic are no longer viewed as foundational to education. Calculators have replaced learning how to add and subtract, cursive writing is rarely taught, and prayer has been abolished which means basic skills and moral decency will never be taught in the classroom. It is not perfectly acceptable for adults and children to use creative acronyms in place of real words and phrases. Those who, for various reasons, may struggle with grammar and word recognition, may remain functionally literate in today’s classroom environment. The posture of the world is "We want it right now," and as most of us in society already knows, true success and achievement comes by steps of planning, life experience, prerequisites of diligence and hard work.
The time has come to share your thoughts and opinions concerning education in America because your future will count on it.