It is evident that all is not well in the Dougherty County School System, but it is also not the end of the world for our schools. The cheating problem is too widespread not to have an underlying cause that is affecting all of the schools equally.
I have heard that the cause of the cheating is the test itself. The wording of the questions may be such that most of the students just do not understand the question. It may be that the teachers also have a problem with the questions.
There also appears to be a problem with the relation between the school board, the superintendent and the teachers.
There are qualified teachers involved in the scandal. If these teachers are fired, then new teachers must be hired. If the cause of the cheating is not corrected or eliminated, then the newly hired teachers will have the same pressure on them that caused the cheating problem.
My suggestion is for the school board and the superintendent to work with the teachers to find out the problem as the teachers see it, ten do what is necessary to correct the problem.
Sure the guilty teachers should be punished but all should not be dismissed. The "good teachers" should be salvaged. More frequent monitoring of the students' progress by the school board would alert the administrators of problems while there is still time to make adjustments and minimize the problem.
This is a time when cool heads must take charge to prevent a total breakdown of our school system.
PAUL A. JONES, Albany