The scope of what occurred — thousands of CRTC test papers falsified, answers changed by educators themselves in order to make the system look good when it wasn’t — is incredible. At least 178 educators were involved as were 78.6 percent (44 of 56) of the schools investigated and 67.9 percent of the principals (38 of 56) while the just-retired superintendent received nationwide applause before the revelations for having miraculously turned around a system in trouble.
It is possible some of these educators will wind up in prison (for falsifying public documents). Some thousands of students are now struggling in their current classes because they never received the remedial help called for.
Neither Atlanta nor Georgia needed this sort of black eye, having entirely enough bruises at the hand of government incompetence or corruption already.
However, that’s not the worst of it.
It is quite likely similar situations have gone undetected to this point across the nation as the result of an incredibly impossible federal edict to leave no child behind ... lest educators lose their jobs. Waving governmental wands almost never accomplishes miracles.
And those school systems such as Rome and Floyd County that have done remarkably well on paper without any sign of cheating and tinkering will have their considerable accomplishments tarred with suspicion.
Atlanta’s schoolchildren didn’t deserve this. Honest teachers and administrators don’t deserve this. And taxpayers, who footed the entire bill for being lied to and deceived, deserved it least of all.