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School cheating scandal long time coming

After reading in today's Herald the "expose" of the local school system, I must say I am not at all surprised. It seems to me it has been a long time coming and despite 2009 as being the year bearing investigation and scrutiny, it has been going on far longer.

With two of our five sons being diagnosed as dyslexic, we recognized these failings in the system back in the '70s. One son, an excellent football player, managed to make it to the 12th grade before dropping out! He attended special education classes from kindergarten on. Despite appointments and frequent involvement in evaluations where we were assured acceptable progress was being made, he was advanced at each grade level. Upon his passing away of cancer, however, at age 37, he could neither read nor write!

I blame myself for not being more demanding and forceful because, as we later learned, he was extremely bright, resourceful and capable of success.

The demands placed on educators are no different then those placed on sales personnel who are threatened by the loss of their job should they fail to meet pre-determined sales quotas. If customers choose to stay away due to shoddy goods or high prices, how can these people meet those goals?

The comparison points to unrealistic expectations and, in truth, is no different than the "No Child Left Behind" fiasco implemented by the previous administration.

Sales people, driven by these expectations, become aggressive, competitive and insistant in order to keep their jobs. Teachers alter grades, change answers and otherwise cover up to keep theirs, which in no way justifies their actions.

It may appear an almost too simplistic solution, but perhaps it is time to help people love the jobs they do by easing off on demands and pressure. Help folks to be happy in their jobs by not forcing them to be competitive, defensive and always on edge.

I had a wonderful teacher once tell me, "It really does not matter what you do, what matters is that you enjoy what you do!"

MARTY HELDENBERG, Parrott

Comments

Spike 2 years, 3 months ago

There was no test in the 70's. If there was then your son wouldn't have been promoted. The test isn't the problem nor the solution. It's just another tool to be utilized along with classroom instruction and performance to evalutate the system. There would never have been a test developed if kids who couldn't read and write were held back. Life isn't just about doing only what you enjoy. We have plenty of parents in Albany and the rest of the country doing whatever it is that they ENJOY rather than WORKING with their children and demanding that they and those that educate them perform. Stroking "self esteem" by telling/doing what teachers/students/supervisors WANT to do rather than what they NEED to do isn't life. Teaching/doing right and wrong isn't always enjoyable.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 3 months ago

I have been really struggling with this issue since the report came out. The evidence, based on probabilities and statistics, is completely foolproof and completely devastating to anybody who claims that it happened by accident. However, after days of pondering, fuming, raging, blaming, and fighting off playing of the Race Card, I have come to what I think is the bottom line for me.

Right now is a watershed moment for the DCSS Board and the Superintendent. Their decision on how to address the CRCT situation, including the fate of the administrators and teachers with their various levels of culpability, WILL HAVE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON ALBANY'S FUTURE THAN ANY OTHER CONTEMPORARY ISSUE. Will they face facts, step up to their responsibilities, act swiftly and justly, and establish a toe-hold upon which to move from here to respectability? Or will they seek an "out", a reason to do nothing, or worse yet....maintain the same position that their past behavior has demonstrated, which could be considered nothing less than the entitlement mindset of protecting their own, no matter the offense.

To repeat: DCSS, your response to this situation will determine the fate of Albany, GA for the next 100 years. WILL YOU ACCEPT THIS RESPONSIBILITY? WILL YOU DO THE RIGHT THING, BEFORE ALMIGHT GOD? I pray with all my might that you will. Thank you.

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