April 12th, 2012
06:28 AM ET

My View: The other types of cheating

Courtesy Michael Lisnet/Math for AmericaBy Gary Rubinstein, Special to CNN

Editor’s Note:  Gary Rubinstein is a high school math teacher and the author of two guidebooks for new teachers, “Reluctant Disciplinarian” and “Beyond Survival.”  He is also a two-time recipient of the Math for America Master Teacher Fellowship. He blogs at http://garyrubinstein.teachforus.org

In a recent investigation, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution analyzed data from nearly 70,000 schools and found indications of standardized test cheating in as many as 200 districts.  When a school tampers with standardized tests, certain people benefit while others suffer.  The principal of the cheating school might get a bonus, while the honest school might get shut down.

Though test tampering is bad, I have examined eight other common types of cheating for my blog that I believe are even worse.

No. 1

In my opinion, a huge cheat that would cost nearly nothing to fix is the way some charter schools claim they get miraculous results with the “same kids” as the “failing” public schools down the road.  Studying the newly released New York City teacher data reports,  I found strong evidence that some charters in New York have incoming students who are a bit above average.  Not only that, but the improvements achieved with those students were also merely average. This cheat helps some charter school CEOs get rich, but that money comes at the expense of the public school that unnecessarily loses its funding.  All schools should have to accurately publish information on their incoming students, including prior academic achievement.

No. 2

Another big cheat is the amount of money and power certain self-dubbed “education reformers” have obtained by claiming, quite confidently, though with no actual proof, they “know” what will improve education in this country.  When their solutions of shutting down schools and firing teachers (“choice and accountability”) only make things worse, they claim that they haven't gotten a chance to finish their experiment yet.  Since they love accountability so much, they should define clearly what their success will look like, and if they don't achieve it quickly, they should fire themselves.  A good example is the leadership in New Orleans, where they changed the definition of “failing school” so they can claim that before Hurricane Katrina, 62% of students attended “failing schools” and now only 13% do. According to the Louisiana Department of Education, even with all the spin on New Orleans numbers, the schools in the New Orleans Recovery District are still 69th out of 70 districts.

Washington is another place where reformers claim success, yet it continues to have the largest achievement gap between black and white students in the country.  According to the most recent Nation’s Report Card Trial Urban District Assessment, D.C.’s 64 point gap for fourth grade reading is more than double the national average for other big cities.

No. 3

It is a cheat when these same reformers trivialize the need to reduce poverty by decrying “poverty is not an excuse” and that, as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently said in a speech at Harvard, "I want to underline that great schools and great teachers are the most effective anti-poverty tool of all.” This is a claim that Duncan has yet to prove.

In an interview with the National Education Association in 2009 he said, “I see extraordinary high-performance schools where 95% of children live below the poverty line, where 95% are graduating, and 90% of those who graduate are going on to college.”  After it was revealed that there were no such schools, Duncan has changed his metric for success to the more modest, but equally deceptive, “double-digit increases” in state test scores.

No. 4

It is a cheat when a program like my own alma mater, Teach For America, promises to provide struggling schools with “properly trained” teachers and, instead, only enables some trainees to student teach classes with under 10 students for a total of 12 hours.

No. 5

It is a cheat when states, in order to receive federal money, agree to make 50% of a teacher's evaluation based on whether that teacher's students meet what a computer predicts those students should get on the end of the year test.  In analyzing recent New York City data that was released to the media I found that many middle school teachers, by these metrics, were evaluated as “highly effective” while teaching one grade and “highly ineffective” while teaching another grade in the same school year.

No. 6

It is a cheat when teachers lose their jobs because reformers declare, without any proof, that the biggest problem in education is the significant percentage of teachers who are unable or simply unwilling to do a good job.  In December, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed how much he believes this when he said in a speech at MIT that if he could he would “cut the number of teachers in half, but you would double the compensation of them, and you would weed out all the bad ones and just have good teachers. And double the class size with a better teacher is a good deal for the students.”

Having taught at three “failing” schools, I know that the average teacher at these schools was doing a good job under difficult conditions.

No. 7

A huge cheat is charter school networks that “lose” 50% of their students and then boast score increases and college acceptance rates.  One example is the Chicago charter school called Urban Prep.  For three consecutive years it has boasted that 100% of its seniors were accepted to college. What it fails to honestly acknowledge is though there were 85 seniors accepted to college in the newest class of 2012, three years earlier there were 179 freshmen, according to the Illinois State Board of Education. Even considering that some of those 179 freshmen were repeaters and the possibility that some of them will take five or six years to graduate, this is still a stunning rate of attrition. Though these attrition rates are easily found, nobody seems to care and these organizations continue to be showered with private and federal money.

No. 8

The biggest cheat of all is the most common: teaching to the math and reading tests at the expense of science, history, music, art and even recess.  When the existence of a school depends on these narrow measures, teachers are compelled to “play the game” to keep their jobs and to keep their schools open.  As a result, we get a generation of students who lack the ability to think critically and creatively.

Ironically, these other types of cheating, while more destructive than test tampering, are actually much easier to detect and easier to prevent.  My hope is that this recent report will lead journalists to more aggressively investigate these other forms of cheating.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Gary Rubinstein.

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Filed under: Cheating • Issues • Voices
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. facebook likes websites

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    April 20, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
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    April 17, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  3. Jerry Freedman

    I teach troubled kids and the amount of pure BS that is shoveled these days is astounding. This guy nailed it. As long as public education is a political issue, and it will always be such, the BS will prevail. Every 4 or 5 years, when the political winds change, the "purpose" and "effectiveness" of public education will be challenged and a new wave of fresh BS will drown what sanity is left in the system

    April 17, 2012 at 6:13 am |
  4. Don

    I don't know any performance-based businesses that require their employees to be teachers, nurses, guidance counselors, babysitters, career counselors, and everything else teachers are required to be for their students and their families while only being paid $35,000 a year if they are lucky.

    April 16, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
  5. Robert

    My heartfelt thanks to every parent who home schools their own children. Thus not burdening the public and stripping whiney, Democrat shill teachers of their power to poison the next generation.

    April 16, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Don

      wow you must have been one of the generations that had their mind poisoned.

      April 16, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • dianee

      i dont know about where you live but here in ny the majority of our taxes goes to our school system. and they are very high. the teachers salaries are insane. why should my kids not get the education from the very people who are sucking me dry?

      April 17, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  6. Dennis

    As a man in my 70's, I remember the old schooling. Some of you know, if you misbehaved, you went to the principals office , sometimes to meet the " board of education", how often determined by the severity of the offense. If a kid got out of line in class, the teacher had the RIGHT to discipline that kid. At the end of the year, if the kid couldn"t pass the grade level work, they were held back, this "no one can fail" mentality is causing the national IQ to drop like a brick! Let the teachers teach, maintain the needed discipline, and make the parents back them. Society wants the schools to raise their kids, but they don't want to hear about any problems either their kid has or is causing. "My kid is perfect, you just don't understand their needs." But don't try to fix any of this, that is going against their rights!! It's time for some "RIGHTS" to be rethought and fixed themselves. God, I miss the "good old days>"

    April 16, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  7. Help me Save Money

    Normally I do not read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, quite great post.

    April 16, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  8. HoldOneMinute

    Charter Schools take on a LOT of students who have been alienated by the System. This includes some special needs kids (autistic, attention issues, etc) and also includes some very very bright kids who are also completely shafted in the school system as it stands. It goes both ways. You cannot brush off the scores obtained by charters on the basis that they have smarter kids. You have to analyze the data a little more closely. In my state, "cyber-charters" do a booming business and every time the scores come in, the local school district picks on them with this 'evidence' that they are not doing as well, oblivious to the fact that so many of these children have social issues and learning disabilities. You can't have it both ways. You can't dismiss good scores because they cater to smarter kids and then highlight average scores if they come about as proof that they don't do well.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • Don

      and how do you know the children are the ones doing the work at these cyber schools?

      April 16, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
  9. Chris

    Excellent–and bold–post! Time to stop vilifying our hard-working teachers; this is a distraction from those CEOS who earn millions of dollars a year for what is in comparison, easy work! Greedy corporate heads see the money in education, and are attempting to shift that money into the private realm (and thus, their pockets) by first cutting funding, and then blaming teachers for what is in fact, a grossly underfunded system. The vast majority of Americans were educated in public schools, and have had a good education; the only thing that has changed has been two decades of consistent education cuts. You want a good educational system in America? Demand that your taxes go back into funding schools, and ignore arrogant, know-it-all CEOs who have never worked a day in a classroom.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:47 am |
  10. stairmaster60m

    This article is so lame – Stop looking for excuses and do your job!

    If you were in a performance–based business you would have been canned by now for poor performance.

    April 15, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • 5@65

      What JOB do you do? Please annouce what you do or provide.

      April 15, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Chris

      School is not a business, it is a place of teaching and learning. BIG difference!

      April 16, 2012 at 4:49 am |
    • Don

      if it was a performance-based business, many students would have been escorted out of the classroom for believing the teacher is a socialist just because they want paid for their labor.

      April 16, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
  11. eroteme

    A cheater is a cheater is a cheater. No matter how many holes are plugged, a cheater will find ways to cheat. But there is a way out! With use of that brave and great popular sentence, "I accept full resposibilty for my conduct." With that said all is forgiven and forgotten. The accused bad conduct doer is then respected for making the acceptance. How silly we are!

    April 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  12. 5@65

    Excellent article!

    As Educators, we have to re-think the manner in which education is provided and taught. My background, 10 yrs primary, (8-12) and 30 yrs post primary education (Community college/above). I've also worked in Business to provide students with 'real world stuff' (25 yrs) but found consistently they were not prepared to handle basic critical thinking skills that relied on comprehension of materials; math, science, literature or spoken language and how to frame a question they may have. It is like a person struggling with English (or any other language) trying to express what they want to know but can not and hoping for the best.... using body movements.

    Here's my thoughts – for what they're worth

    - Best 9-12 Instructors are those 6-10 yrs older. They are more aligned with their students and can relate as to what they went through to become an Educator and achieve a degree.
    - Best 5-8 Instructors are those 15-25 yrs older. They have kids near a similiar age and can relate better to the parents for the need to education.
    - Best K-4 Instructors are those 25-45 yrs older. This is not a tough one to explain. The Art and Science of Education, as Educators we must go to the student. At that level, we can encourage the child but more importantly their parents to get involved since interacting with someone the same age or above.

    Circular Education for Educators

    Don't get complacent. That is, if your Instructing at a Community College or above try teaching a 5-8 Grade or below, at least watch what is going on and not as an Advisor/Mentor but as an assistant for those grades that need help.

    I know I'll get flamed – so be it. I do believe that to be an Educator you must have passion and a belief you'll make a difference, no matter how small. Sure can't be the $$ we're in this for.

    April 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  13. SuZieCoyote

    A few years my kid got in trouble at school – at that time he was in middle-school. Actually, he defended himself against a bully. But we were offered this deal, each of us parents would spend one day in class with our son OR he could take a 3-day suspension. Off to school we went. The purpose, we were told, wasn't to involve us in his education, it was to humiliate him in front of his friends, so he wouldn't do whatever it was he did to get in trouble again. It turns out he wasn't so much concerned with that.

    It was horrible. Teachers had no control and half of what was taught in the science class was dead wrong. I bit my tongue, because I was just trying to get my kid through this ordeal. The teachers were 90% lousy, just lousy. Maybe they weren't paid well enough; maybe they weren't empowered to make the kids behave; maybe they just didn't care. I don't know. But the kids did whatever they wanted in the main – had conversations, threw wads of paper at home another, etc. But few paid attention to the teacher. And we're not talking about an rough urban school here. This is a regular school in a regular community. My heart sank as I realized I could not leave work to home school him.

    There ARE bad teachers out there – a lot of them.

    April 15, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  14. lamestreammedia

    The biggest cheats in school are teacher unions. They cheat the kids out of a good education, and they cheat the taxpayers. Sounds like this author is a union shill....
    Like other professions, teachers need to be judged by results ! No lifetime guarantees of employment.

    April 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • 111Dave111

      How many kids were there in that class? Have you ever taught in front of that many kids, 5 days in a row? Or are you just a snarky, know nothing, who repeats the Fox/TeaParty lies?

      April 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Don

      How are unions that get their teachers 3% standard of living raises yearly instead of no raise at all a cheat?

      stupid fox news watchers should be sent back to school to learn how to think for themselves.

      April 16, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
  15. eyes_wide_open

    These so-called reforms in education are nothing more than corporations making money on the latest 'fix'. The education companies come out with a new curriculum and schools spend $$$ for it. Everyone thinks there is a magic fix – computers, SmartBoards, X curriculum, y curriculum, other technology...etc.. Do you have any idea how much this costs?
    The only thing that has been proven to help kids is a good teacher, which most of them are. Read the research and you will see that is the case.

    What is wrong with our schools? Poor parenting. Teachers have to discipline the kids and get them interested, while the parents don't care and don't discipline them. So many parents are not involved with their kids and you wonder why in the world they had them.

    April 15, 2012 at 7:32 am |
    • sam smithwick

      sadly, if we look into the lack of parental control, influence, involvement, we unfold yet another, deeper layer of our nation's issue. not too long after the revolution, as ben franklin feared, we let go of democracy. we turned it over to those willing to work hard, without rules, to gain the influence and control over the system necessary to promote what would become the modern "take" on adam smith's work. we are currently feeling the sting of two hundred years of being manipulated by the powers that be in order to maintain a large enough lower class to provide the cheapest possible labor as well as a gullible pool of consumers. should poor families be more involved? read what frederick douglass wrote about family structure on the plantation. we've done nothing to heal those familial wounds, repair the damage done. our loss.

      April 15, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  16. mmi16

    Figures lie and liars figure.

    The more a particular 'metric' is identified as a yardstick of success – the more a organization will specialize it's methods to increase that particular metric.

    While I can't give teachers a pass in the state of eductation today – the biggest culprit in the lack of educational results lays with the parents. Just because a child reaches school age and goes to school – the parent still has the responsiblity to educate the child and follow up and support the eductation the occurrs at school. Far too many parents have the idea 'I managed to keep the child alive for 6 years – now it is up to the school system to raise them'.

    April 15, 2012 at 3:15 am |
    • Cheryl Beyer

      After 28 years of teaching in public school, this is what stands out. The biggest change in schools and students over that span of years is an erosion of personal responsibility. I wish I had a $ for every time I heard from parents, " My child said he didn't do it, and my child never lies!" Pshhhhhhhhh! Every child lies to stay out of trouble, but, when principals feel that they might be sued by parents who think their child should not have to take responsibility for his/her actions, they cave in, and the student learns that they just lie to get out of trouble. Parents are either "helicopters", hovering over their student to protect him from those nasty teachers, who hold him accountable; or totally uninterested in what the student learns at school....just get through it, as the law says. That has changed so much over 28 years...parents used to back the teacher, and make students responsible for their own actions. How many of you can say this, "When I was a kid, if I got in trouble at school, I was in triple trouble at HOME"?

      April 16, 2012 at 6:36 am |
  17. Kevin

    First, your article is unfocused and covers such a large variety of disparate topics (and yes, I see that you attempted to group them all as "cheating" but that seems to be more due to laziness rather then accuracy). The "shotgun" approach doesn't seem to work here.
    Some of what you state appears to be spot on -especially regarding "reformers" changing the definitions in order to appear that they have made "progress"- however, other in other sections of this article you appear to blindly defend teachers regardless of their actual performance- thus losing sight of the fact that school is not about the teachers- it is about the kids. It doesn't matter if "the average teacher at these schools was doing a good job under difficult conditions", all that matters is "Are the children learning what they need to know"? If the answer is "no" then the school is a failure- period.
    Here are the problems as I see them:
    1) peer promotion. – I could go on for days on why this is and always had been a terrible idea doomed to fail.
    2) Teachers who do not actually know the subject they teach- If you need the "answer key" to find the answer to the homework you just asigned your class, you have no business teaching that class.- end of discussion. We need math teachers who know math, english teachers who know english, science teachers who know science... not some generic "I have a degree in education" drones who are clueless as to the actual subjects they teach.
    3) discipline- personally, I attended private schools that still allowed corporal punishment in the younger grades... and in the older grades assigning "extra PT" as a punishment- everything from running a couple of miles to (in extreme cases) strapping on some boxing gloves and sparring with a instructor. believe me, you learned quickly to respect your teachers.
    4) Schools that are entirely too top heavy with administrators. Simply put: if your school is spending more then 15% of it's budget on administration, there is a severe problem.

    April 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Alter Ego

      http://Www.dictionary.com/than

      My private school was better THAN yours you pompous ass.

      April 15, 2012 at 10:08 am |
  18. John Hillman

    He left out the biggest cheat of all.

    Lack of parental involvement. My father never asked me if my homework was done. He WATCHED as I did it. My father never disconnected from his role in my education. Never once did he say to a teacher "your job is to teach my kid".

    April 14, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  19. Brian De Vale

    Excellent. On point and accurate. I wish all my fellow principals could read this!

    April 14, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  20. John

    True in every aspect

    April 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  21. dkf

    Great article. It bothers me that administrators at all levels are quick to blame the teachers. If they, the parents and the law would take the handcuffs off, they will do a great job.

    However, it may be too late. I came from a generation of teachers (from the 80's and 90's) who were not under such a repressive system. They are long gone and the newer generation unfortunately have to do a political dance to keep their jobs rather than teaching to their student's needs.

    April 14, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  22. Steve Nesich

    Excellent piece, Gary. My response was to give you a standing ovation-seriously. It's brilliant. And right on the mark.

    Finally, after years of one-sided, biased coverage, we parents and citizens are beginning to get the truth about "education reform". And we have people like you to thank.

    I think American historians will look back at 2012 as the "Year Of The Pushback" on public education. The terms and framing of this debate are no longer confined to those that are dictated by special interests with their own ax to grind.

    We The People do not want to see cronyism corrupt our public schools under the guise of "reform". We can't allow a small group of well-funded interests to do to education what they did to the economy as a whole in 2008.

    Thanks again for this very good piece. I'm not a teacher, not is any member of my family. But I'm a parent and citizen and I know what a vital role our schools have played throughout our history.

    We're the last line of defense for our public schools. And I'm proud to stand with the people who make them work every day.

    I also recommend the educator and historian, Diane Ravitch, to anyone who wants to understand what is really happening in our schools-and how we can fight back against it.

    April 14, 2012 at 7:03 am |
    • pferryman

      We all have to stand up and push back or we will lose our schools.
      I recently read that we who educate 100% of our students are having our scores compared to countries that only education 10% of their children.
      We are compared to countries who have a totally different cultural life style.
      We are compared to countries whose parents are paying attention and not caught up in trying to keep food on the table, in jail, on drugs, or afraid to discipline their kids. God forbid someone makes a kid behave in our country we are violating their rights to be stupid and socially unacceptable their whole life. When the statement was made build schools or build prisons it was right and guess what it is cheaper to build a prison than a good safe well equipted school.

      April 15, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  23. sooldSCHOOL

    Stop testing....... for the love of....whatever happened to the 3Rs........people.......got all of use thru with flying colors.......

    April 14, 2012 at 6:53 am |
  24. allllchemist

    Probably one of the most important blogs/editorials written about the problems with current "reform" changes I've seen. Succinct, comprehensive, cutting.

    April 14, 2012 at 6:10 am |
  25. theoldfool1950

    Now this is a guy I could get behind. This should be on the front page of every major newspaper. Hopefully it will spread like wildfire through the internet. Public Education has become the orphan child of this country and it is a disgrace. Fix it.

    You start with a school desk. Wired, touch screen and keyboarded. The student takes his/her iPad-like device with him/her wherever he goes. At home, via the Internet he has a link to his/her desk at school. The teacher also has a link to each desk. Group teaching and individual instruction all at the same time. Your homework turns itself in. Accountability is absolute. The price, probably less than the cost of books over an extended period of time.

    There is an element in this country that just hates intelligent people. It's like they want to see over the fence but they can't.

    Charter Schools are the biggest sham. Talk about mass production of low hanging fruit. The system works because all the student has to do is what is expected of him/her. And then you teach the test. And the rest is discipline. They also seem to get the pick of the litter of students. They are like secular parochial schools. If it doesnt work out with a student you could always dump him/her back on the public schools. Charter schools is a great way to steal money. If you have kept your eyes on local news the closer we look the more we find retail theft from the owners of these "miracle" schools.

    Public welfare should not be a curse, it should be a goal.

    April 13, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  26. Esther

    I agree with a whole LOT of what you said...

    Except...TFA.

    I'm a TFA alumni myself and all I can say is: I've seen trained teachers both newly-graduate from teaching credential programs that didn't do TFA as well as veteran teachers who had taught for years-and to THIS day (after 8 years in teaching still to this day) I'd take a TFA teacher anyday of the week at my school site. What you may not get in your post is that there are some REALLY horrible schools where TFA's preparation, while in some cases may not be the best in the world, really is better than what is out there and so-as far as your claim that TFA is not preparing people accurately-if corps members filled out surveys and told TFA that they wanted more preparation-they'd get it. I have close friends who work for TFA corporate/regional and that's the whole point: if somebody wasn't prepared they work adamantly to get them there or figure something else out...

    So my point is: don't blame TFA for education's ills.

    In somebody's response, they blame parents. Nope, it's not parents' faults either because all of my students parents care-some of them may not always do what WE think is the best but you know what-I don't live in South Central Los Angeles, nor know what it's like to grow up in certain extremely rough neighborhoods. I'm privileged in terms of college education and look like the dominant class in society, and my English skills are decent. Thus, don't knock people who have different surroundings, backgrounds, and experiences. We're all people-and we should be treated with dignity. So...instead of blaming TFA or parents...

    Let's start with the other things you mentioned ESPECIALLY the money trail. Something is NOT right in education when people are being awarded for false data, test scores which make a mockery of student learning and teachers for absurd reasons, and something is really wrong when the rich keep getting richer (in terms of education) and the poor-poorer.

    Something has got to be fixed with the notion of NCLB, Race to the top, and increasing standardized testing first and foremost!

    April 13, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  27. hypatia

    Very astute analysis, but this is what happens when you treat education like groceries. You get uneducated idiots telling other uneducated idiots what the educated people are doing wrong.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Frankie

      well said.

      April 14, 2012 at 1:23 am |
  28. mantismech

    The secrets to high performance in students are not teachers or schools, but responsible parents.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  29. Ollie

    Check out http://zhaolearning.com for an educators look at the huge problems with the current reform mentality

    April 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  30. the truther

    The chinese are causing our children to cheat

    April 13, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  31. Kathy

    Outstanding piece!

    April 13, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  32. changingwoman51

    As a special education teacher I have said more than once, in my pleas for equity education, that to maintain this robotic control of teaching to the test will produce more thoughtless indigents. This is NOT a cruel representation of students or the growing population they represent. This corresponds with the author who is saying it again..."loss of critical thinking". How in the world can you guide students to think about, analyze, evaluate, modify, interpret, and assess thoughts, ideas, words and actions? Good teachers have never had to write volumes on curriculum because we did them. Good teachers already employ Bloom's Taxonomy of higher learning skills in every subject area we teach. Good teachers constantly struggle to find the strategies that evoke understanding from the student's level of knowing (Vygotsky). Not only have the 1% invaded the process of learning to skew toward masses of uninformed future adults with multi-million dollar scripted programs, they now are expelling the freedoms of a profession that has historically fought to educate for the purpose of learning how to prosper as productive adults. This is mass murder on the part of those small numbers who must be threatened at the aspect of losing ground. We need to keep up with our "whining" and make it loud enough and strong enough in numbers so that others who are sleeping while the wolves do their dirty work are stopped before those who remain silent awake to a world of total incompetence!

    Educators are involved daily with all aspects of the world. They are presented through the eyes and voices of those who come to us every day and want to learn, want to advance, want to be respected as thinking minds rather than the subdued group which will only propagate passiveness to strengthen the 1%. All teachers are not highly qualified, but a majority of us continue to learn that good teaching requires those philosophies that inspire our own life-learning as well. We speak out and inform parents, communities and a public of all that we have learned along the process. We defend our students through our insistence that high stakes testing does NOTHING but further alienate students and teachers from learning. Now, if that's a good recipe for the 1% to keep us fighting about this, then they will win again. I propose that we keep speaking the truth. I impell everyone to gather with the 99% and bombard the few who for too long have assumed that the public will constantly bicker among themselves and crucify pockets of society. While communities keep up the resistance to join together, that 1% will continue to knock us down. Our children will be left with despair and will surely be killed off one by one either through poverty, psychological destruction, or because of their inabilities to survive within the chaos we have left them! I am too old to ignore history and how it may repeat itself, but not too old to give up. Anyone who has kids, grandchildren or are planning to extend their families needs to be aware of what a future may hold for them and their children. It's really scary when some of those "sci-fi" books and movies reveal an all too-close-for-comfort analagy of what our world is moving toward!

    With a teacher's voice, I invite all to research, study and evaluate the successes and the failures of those who spend their lifetimes and public money to create ways to separate, alienate and keep the bulk of our society uneducated! Be careful when someone from the 1% purports "change". I'm beginning to think that they have enough audacity to mean this literally! (Change=$$$).

    April 13, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • theoldfool1950

      Dont change too much, I think you have got this right. Most people just cannot see how manipulated we are. They just can't see over that fence.

      April 13, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  33. Kittyg

    Who cares about anything anymore? EVERyONE in govt. cheats and lies! Most people do! It does no good to try to regute them or punish them...I quit! This is definitely the devils'
    world!

    April 13, 2012 at 4:36 am |
    • tiara

      report abuse, repoort abuse. You should shout your mouth.

      April 13, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  34. Chiropractors in nj

    Hello my loved one! I wish to say that this post is amazing, great written and come with approximately all important infos. I'd like to see more posts like this .

    April 13, 2012 at 1:55 am |
  35. ALARMED

    Anybody that disagrees with theese comment should take a walk around and observer your surroundings. Cant u see how kid now a days are learining less and less every day. Teachers are surely not to blame. Yet we give extra money to schools that dont need it anyway. And turn our backs on the ones that do. Status quo is why our country is in the mess its in right now.

    April 12, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
  36. xman

    I have a novel idea...how about having educators in charge of education? Try telling the AMA or ABA that their governing body will be people who have no idea what it is to be a doctor or lawyer. That wouldn't last long. So why do we do it with education? Seriously, if you gave us the resources and time to solve these problems, we gratefully and efficiently would.

    April 12, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Marlo

      As a veteran teacher with 40 years experience in a high school and college setting, I completely agree with you.

      April 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  37. DoNotWorry

    Worst type of cheating:

    Top graduates from private schools going into the finance industry and cheating... bringing the world economy down.

    April 12, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
  38. SickofItAll

    Under No Child Left Behind nearly every school in America will be labeled as failing in the next two years. What is never shared with the general populous is that every year it takes a higher score to meet Adequate Yearly Progress. This means you could have the same exact score two years in a row and be labeled adequate the first year and failing the second year. Even students with learning disabilities are held to this standard. By 2014 every child in every school in America is expected to be at mastery level. One hundred percent mastery defies the laws of natural distribution of intelligence.

    April 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • andreadevine

      exact and succinct. hello! this is it!! no matter the value of the test itself.

      April 12, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  39. JS

    LA's recovery school district takes over school's that are failing, therefore, its rank should ALWAYS be at the bottom of the list of achievement. Once schools are removed from failing status they can be removed from the Recovery School District.

    April 12, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  40. Oliviaheart

    Is there any other professional that whines as much as teachers do?

    April 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Lois Medicus

      I don't know about professions that whine, but I'm sure the profession of teaching is certainly the most vilified today!

      April 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
      • mgm531

        "Is there any other professional that whines as much as teachers do?" Answer: Yeah, bankers and Wall Street fat cats.

        April 14, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • just a teacher

      Don't you mean "Are there any professionals who ..." Professionals is plural so you need to use "are" not is.

      April 12, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • xman

      Treat us as professionals, fund education, put educators in charge of it, and stop bashing the profession and we'll stop griping.

      April 12, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • theoldfool1950

      You are the problem.

      April 13, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Mike

      Nobody else gets dumped on as much as teachers do.

      April 14, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • KLM

      Yes Oliviaheart – "school reformers" politicians (especially Republicans) and all those who support them.

      April 15, 2012 at 6:39 am |
    • BSD

      Dearest Oliviaheart,

      They say don't bite the hand that feeds you. No one ever thinks about what it's like to be the feeding hand, being bitten every single day, by the hungry and malnourished . . . . and their parents. This is why teachers can't win this debate. And they know it. Every act of self-defense and justification just strike the cynical as whining. Can't wait to meet and teach your kids.

      April 20, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  41. JuneCleaversBeaver

    I feel like I got cheated out of the 2 minutes I took to read this tripe.

    April 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Noel Hammatt

      And this comment is about as worthless as any comment on here. IF you have something to criticize, then do so with a bit of honesty. Tell us WHAT you are upset about. Have a great day!

      April 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Debra

      What specifically do you disagree with and why?

      April 13, 2012 at 1:40 am |
  42. Rene' Greer

    Cheat Number 2:
    In the 2004-2005 school year, 62.1 percent of students attended a school with a perfomance score below 60. In the 2009-2010 school year, 17.9 percent of students were enrolled schools with performance score below a 60. Likwise, the percentage of students attending a school with a performance score below 65 - the minimum performance score to avoid Louisiana's Academically Unacceptable label - has decreased from 69.3 percent in 2004-2005 to 23.6 percent in 2010-2011.

    April 12, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  43. Democrat Teen

    I'm on the other side of that glass window, as a student, but I see it too. Every day. I've had some pretty bad teachers, admittedly. They even told me to my face they didn't care about students, just 'figure it out'. But teachers like that are the ones who should deal with 'reform', not the teachers who try their best. You and all the good teachers better help me get my generation ready to fix all this mess up, alright?

    April 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  44. Nella Waters

    This blog should be read by parents everywhere because most teachers know this, have talked about it, yet remain unheard. Those in power know this but shield themselves because they have their agenda. The only hope is to have huge numbers of parents rise up and join those of us who have been crying out all these years.

    April 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  45. Bob Valiant

    Teacher Alert! Do you really think the nightmare of high-stakes testing, teacher evaluation based on value-added measures, scripted curriculum, narrowed offerings, larger class sizes and lack of resources is going to go away on its own? Have you even heard of ALEC, Broad, DeVos, or Whitney Tilson? Are you aware that the rich and powerful want to privatize public education, end collective bargaining for teachers, cut back your pension, close schools and replace them with corporate owned charter schools and that they are doing it with the help of the US Department of Education?

    There is something you can do to take a stand. It is a small action, but it is significant, Thousands of teachers and parents have signed a letter to President Obama calling for an end to high-stakes testing and the punitive actions associated with them. The letter proposes the involvement of teachers and parents in policy decisions of the USDOE. Finally, the letter calls for the dismissal of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the man who should be defending you, but instead is complicit in the dismantling of our public education system. To read the letter, go to http://dumpduncan.org/. If you agree with the premise, sign the letter and speak out for public schools.

    April 12, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  46. askteacherz

    Mr. Rubinstein, thank you for putting the "real" issues and failures facing education in a plain and direct manner. It is time that the "public" realizes the truth about our nations public eduction system before we are further duped by Politicians, Ed. Reformers and Privateers. This triumvirate is after one thing, and one thing only: PROFIT. Public Educators have always had student well being as the measuring stick for success; and quite often this is NOT attainable from test scores. The vast majority of students in the U.S. need an educator that they know will be there for them in the long haul, not a transient teacher; they need someone to instruct them on social and moral issues, not best multiple choice test options; they need someone to care about them, they need to feel part of a community. Public Schools are the pillars of a successful community and our support as a nation needs to be behind this concept.

    April 12, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  47. OSSE

    Reblogged this on From State to Student: The OSSE Blog.

    April 12, 2012 at 8:33 am |