Sunday, April 16, 2006

Allegations of Grade Tampering Spur Inquiry at NE Campus et al

Allegations of Grade Tampering Spur Inquiry at NE Campus - Washington Post

Principals Face Review in Education Overhaul - New York Times

Atypical Payments to Trustee Detailed - Washington Post

Principal Loses Job for Assisting Students on Test - Washington Post

For all the politicians and administrators who think they have the means to command educators to teach students, there are teachers and principals ready to outsmart them, even if they have to cheat – and more will succeed in the near-term than fail.

Not just for students anymore, cheating has gone ‘prime-time’ into the front office. The stakes are holding onto jobs, promotions, mortgages, college tuition, and pensions.

This is no indictment of all educators; anymore then the act indicts all students, athletes, or business people. However, as the stakes rise, human nature dictates that more will cheat and the pursuit will intensify.

It is surprising how easy it is to catch a cheating teacher – much easier than students. Simply put, performance is normally distributed around random patterns of test results. ‘Macro-cheating’ disturbs these random patterns in ways quite visible to curious software programs.

Today’s measurement schemes identify and punish failure in educators and students, only encouraging the gaming we see. Motivating success is the only means to a real solution.

James C. Collier


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