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High stakes testing incentivizes fraudsters


[T]he state’s investigation reached from Ms. Parks’s third-grade classroom all the way to the district superintendent at the time, Beverly L. Hall, who was one of 35 Atlanta educators indicted Friday by a Fulton County grand jury.

Dr. Hall, who retired in 2011, was charged with racketeering, theft, influencing witnesses, conspiracy and making false statements. Prosecutors recommended a $7.5 million bond for her; she could face up to 45 years in prison.

During the decade she led the district of 52,000 children, many of them poor and African-American, Atlanta students often outperformed wealthier suburban districts on state tests.

Those test scores brought her fame — in 2009, the American Association of School Administrators named her superintendent of the year and Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, hosted her at the White House.

And fortune — she earned more than $500,000 in performance bonuses while superintendent.

Just outright corruption.

One can only imagine how many of Dr. Hall's are out there. We had one up in Bangor:

Lucy has been on paid administrative leave since Sept. 29, after the Bangor Daily News published details of a 2011 report from the Maine Department of Education which found there was “incontrovertible evidence that some students revisited the [New England Common Assessment Program] test after the time permitted” and that those actions violated “clearly stated” testing rules and guidelines.

No $500K bonus, of course; Maine is a poor state. But the corruption is the same, and the context is high-stakes testing.

I wonder if anybody has done a national survey?

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