cheaters never prosper

I recently vented at Patheos.com in a post titled When the Cheaters Are Teachers, where I reflect on disappointments with the public education system — a vent sparked by the embarrassing and disgraceful cheating scandal in Atlanta Public Schools. It’s pretty outrageous to think that so many professionals were easily compromised in the interest of … hmmm. In the interest of what, exactly? Bonuses? Bragging rights? Unbelievable and suspect test gains? Yeah, that.

We do no one any favors when we lower our standards or reduce our expectations. To teach effectively, we must look beyond the data points and see the unique individuals in the desks. We must meet them where they are and help them become what they can be.

It’s a complex problem because we can pretty much point a finger in any direction and find someone to blame, and I’m not talking about the 35 who were indicted. I’m talking about parents who abdicate parental responsibility when they don’t take an active role in their children’s education. Students who treat school as a social venue.  Officials who let policies overrule sound educational processes. And teachers who plainly, and simply, are not teaching.

What scares the hell out of me is that this might just be the beginning of a different battle I never expected, about fundamental values, ethical comprehension, poverty and opportunity; we need to have conversations about these topics that are forthright enough to make us uncomfortable.

Check out the rest of it here.