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Teachers Taking Part In Eraser Parties

Lynnette Thomas
 


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Teachers have been reported holding ‘eraser parties', where teachers modify the answers on students’ exam papers, have been reported. There were also details of principals publicly humiliating their employees. “A culture of fear and a conspiracy of silence infected the school system and kept many teachers from speaking freely about misconduct, " the report's authors concluded.

The scandal of Atlanta teachers cheating is believed to have been created because of “unreasonable pressure on teachers and principals to achieve goals". A culture of fear, retaliation and intimidation has spread through the area, emphasizing that public praise and test results are valued to the exclusion of ethics and integrity.

The scandal of Atlanta teachers cheating is believed to have been created because of “unreasonable pressure on teachers and principals to achieve goals". A culture of fear, retaliation and intimidation has spread through the area, emphasizing that public praise and test results are valued to the exclusion of ethics and integrity.

This method of cheating is believed to be the result of a culture of fear, stimulated by increased test-score targets. It has added to the argument that policies formed from test scores in the No Child Left Behind's narrowly focused exam system, is a setting that provides perverse incentives for teachers cheating that are not in the best interests of their students.

"The first time you see an answer sheet where, on a test with 40 questions, there was an average of 18 answers changed from wrong to right in a single classroom, it's not really a ‘eureka’ moment", says Cizek.

"The first time you see an answer sheet where, on a test with 40 questions, there was an average of 18 answers changed from wrong to right in a single classroom, it's not really a ‘eureka’ moment", says Cizek.

This situation is not isolated to just Atlanta, where the investigation started, but includes Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Washington D. C. , California, Connecticut and New Jersey, along with more states under suspicion.

American Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan says “Cheating reflects a willingness to lie at children's expense to avoid accountability". Duncan and others have repeatedly argued that although the vast majority of teachers do not cheat, the cheating by a few teachers in a few schools could endangered the college applications of students, district wide.

"We're not dealing with separate instances of cheating but we're dealing with things that have accumulated. " said Ariely, the Duke behavioural economist. “Cheating begets cheating. Once you cheat in some way, the next act of cheating is easier. “

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