The Atlanta Cheaters
by David Sims
DID YOU notice that all of the persons arrested for CRCT test score fraud in Atlanta are Black? That isn’t racism. That’s just how things were. (ILLUSTRATION: Former Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent, the late Beverly Hall)
The state investigators, Bowers and Wilson, although they are both White men, were never credibly accused of racism, despite the fact that they tagged 178 Black Atlanta education officials as suspected cheaters.
Of those 178 suspected APS senior administrators, principals, and teachers, about 80 confessed to crimes. Their only punishment was getting fired and having to look for other jobs. The remaining suspected educators dug in their heels and said, more or less, “Ah dindu nuffin!”
And for most of them, this intransigence paid off. Of the 98 suspected APS educators who didn’t confess, only 35 were ever arrested. Of those 35, only 14 were charged and bound for trial. Of those 14, one was acquitted, eleven were convicted, and two died of cancer before a jury could decide the question. In other words, of all the education officials who were suspected of cheating, only 5% of them ended up being punished for cheating.
With odds like that, it’s probably only a matter of time before organized, systematic test score fraud happens once again in the Atlanta Public Schools.
Atlanta has majority White schools, but none of them got into trouble for CRCT cheating. Why not? Because schools with a majority of White students LEAD the racial test score gap, whereas schools with a majority of Black students are on the trailing side of that gap. On all occasions when things have seemed otherwise, it has been the result of a false appearance being hoaxed up by fraudulent means. Atlanta’s CRCT cheating scandal is only one of many examples.
Georgia’s public school system had CRCT cheating outside Atlanta, too. Although the majority of schools on Georgia’s 2010 “serious concern” list were 44 Black-majority schools in the Atlanta district, there were 28 schools outside Atlanta that were also on that list. Of those 28 schools, one had a White majority, two had Hispanic majorities, and 25 had Black majorities.
Cheating on the CRCT was very much something that Blacks did, and not so much anybody else. Whites least of all. The reason the cheating was mostly a Black thing is that Blacks have the lowest intelligence of all the races in the United States, and the “No Child Left Behind” laws implicitly assumed that the races were intellectual equals and that any difference in average test scores must be the fault of environmental factors.
So the schools that had a lot of Black students tried one “teaching reform” after another, and none of them really worked. When the requirements of NCLB began to threaten the accreditation of these schools and the jobs of the Blacks who worked in them, these Blacks turned to cheating as the only way they could keep their jobs. They got away with it, under Beverly Hall, for about ten years.
And then they got caught.
The rest, as they say, is history.
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