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CRCT investigation a matter of right vs. wrong

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said.

Standing in front of the Government Center on Thursday, former NAACP president and community activist William Wright decried the investigation into teachers accused of changing answers from wrong to right on the 2009 CRCT exams as nothing more than a “witch hunt,” saying that “these teachers were trying to give lower-income children a degree of hope. We’re not talking about right and wrong.”

Wright’s statements couldn’t be further from the truth.

At its very core, the CRCT investigation is about right versus wrong. If the teachers changed the answers as alleged by a report compiled by state investigators, their acts were not only morally wrong, but were devoid of any shred of ethical decency and could be legally questionable as well.

In many ways, teachers are like police officers and firefighters in the eyes of the public.

They are expected by the communities in which they serve to be beyond ethical or moral reproach. They are entrusted with the education of our youth.

Modern-day teaching is as much about what’s not taught in the curriculum as what is. Students, especially the younger ones who take tests like the CRCT, are acutely aware of teacher’s mannerisms, personality, body language and tone.

Our future as a society is too important to allow teachers and administrators to tacitly send the message to students, “Hey, don’t worry about the rules and regs. If you run into a problem or are faced with a challenge, don’t rise above it, or bother doing all that work to overcome it. Just find a way to bend the rules. It’s easier that way.”

To paraphrase John Kennedy, American society became strong because we challenged ourselves. We didn’t take the easy path. And, when given the option, we chose the tougher path because we knew if we made it through it, we’d be all the better for it.

And, Mr. Wright, as much as you’d like to believe that there are some racial undertones to the investigation because, as you point out, “all the teachers involved were black,” that dog just won’t hunt.

The investigation centered on the schools where there were higher-than-usual numbers of wrong-to-right erasures. From that point, the investigators interviewed throngs of teachers, staff and administrators to drill down to the various classrooms where there was a prevalence of erasures.

Mr. Wright, are you honestly shocked that, in a system whose teachers are predominately black, that a sampling of those teachers would also be predominately black?

The teacher of the year for 2012 was black. Is the community to follow your logic and assume that there was some nefarious racially-motivated scheme to put her ahead of the non-black teachers? Absolutely not. It’s beyond ridiculous, as is your assumption.

The 2012 teacher of the year got there on her own merits, as did the 26 teachers and administrators who found themselves on the CRCT cheating list.

Email J.D. Sumner at j.d.sumner@albanyherald.com.

Comments

hayward2 2 years, 4 months ago

I think Martin Luther King would be very upset with Mr. Wright. he, along with Sharpton and Jackson seem to have strayed a bit from Mr. Kings ideas on right versus wrong. to say that this is a racial issue is as absurd as they are. Blacks are not minorities here in the south any more and I for one am tired of hearing them called such!!! seems we've gone from one extreme to another in the past 60 years, wouldn't you say?

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benh1936 2 years, 4 months ago

Whites are the minority here, the discrimination is now reversed. Discrimination is bad no matter who the oppressed or the oppressor is. Seems some folks around here do not understand that as they continue to play the "payback" game. Albany will never be united with people like this spouting off their stupidity and discord.

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dingleberry 2 years, 4 months ago

As long as there is big money, and I do mean b-i-g in the trillions, tied to "race" and "social programs for persons of low income", charges such as those by Wright and the other pathetic losers at the recent publicity stunt will never go away. Losers like Wright et al cannot afford to let it die and the "oppressors" we have in political office at all levels will bend over backwards to make sure race is always an issue in the forefront--no one wants to be racist for goodness sake and money cures racism, right? ! After all, our politicians have to pander to some group for votes so why not make it the "low income" group we perpetuate in that status? Of course the religious hypocrites like Sharpton, Jackson, and Obama's former pastor the other wrong Wright, serve as a role models for those with child-like mentality to follow in the quest for more money and less work--all at taxpayer expense of course.

Good job, JD. You said it Wright, eh, right!

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 4 months ago

Billions and Billions of dollars going to these "oppressed groups" has barely moved the needle and instead has created a new Plantation of Votes, funded by taxpayers and run by Democrat Overseers.

We should have picked our own cotton (or brought Mexicans in to do it....they don't mind doing a day's work).

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benh1936 2 years, 4 months ago

A well written story Mr. Sumner!

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BettyBowTie 2 years, 4 months ago

Good story. I will sum it up by saying, Wright=Wrong!

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 3 months ago

Who put tremendous pressure on the principals and teachers to make AYP by passing the CRCT ???? ----which basicially encouraged "cheating"......in the first place?

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SMHgain 2 years, 3 months ago

How many other schools in Georgia were under tremendous pressure to make AYP that chose not to "cheat"? Are you in agreement with Mr. Wright that cheating is okay because of AYP and CRCT testing being too difficult for some students??

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 3 months ago

no liver lip frog face......I said, "who" put the pressure on in the first place....who??? who? who??? who???? who???? who liver lip?????? who frog face???? who???????

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 3 months ago

It doesn't matter "who" you big old fat hoot owl

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MRKIA 2 years, 3 months ago

COACH, STOP MAKING EXCUSES MAN. YOU KNOW MR. WRIGHT IS DEAD WRONG. YOUR ARGUEMENT ALONG WITH BUBBA_VET-RU ASININE COMMENTS DOES NOT SERVE THE STUDENTS WELL. I BELIEVE THAT YOU WANT THE BEST FOR THE STUDENTS BUT LOWERING THE BAR ON EDUCATION WILL NOT MAKE THEM COMPETITIVE. ASK FOR AND DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY FROM THE DCSS. PARENTS, YOUR CHILDS EDUCATION BEGINS AT HOME.

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waltspecht 2 years, 3 months ago

What I haven't heard was "look, there is a reasonalbe suspecion that these individuals may have contributed to the CRCT scandal. They have been removed from their roles as Teachers, and we are persueing every avenue to establish their guilt or innocance We will not rush to judgement, but we will also assure that no guilty party escapes." Now that id what the Board should have said many months ago.

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MRKIA 2 years, 3 months ago

IT'S IRONIC THAT EVEN WHEN DEFINING SOMETHING IN IT'S SIMPLEST FORM THE SIMPLEMINDED STILL DON'T GET IT.

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DoctorDorite 2 years, 3 months ago

Some educators/administrators higher up heard the magic words " No Child Left Behind " and took it seriously, LOL. Wright wants them passed on, so they can forever be dumb like him ! Is that how you advance a race of people ? So sad for the kids when the supposedly adults role models are so stupid !

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LGadson 2 years, 3 months ago

Such pressure though. So many rules. Can't look at the students, can't look out of the window, can't look at the floor, you're simply there to make sure the pencil gets sharpened if it breaks, they're on task, and that they don't put their heads down on the desk. Once a child dropped their pencil. The proctor and I looked at each other. (We were almost afraid to pick up the pencil and give it to them!) Blood, sweat and tears the whole year. But it was worth every drop, because they did well. They believe in themselves, not necessarily me.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 3 months ago

You're on something. I hope you get random drug checked. Odds are less than ONE in FIFTEEN TRILLION I hope.

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