August 10, 2012
D.C. Office of Inspector General Report Cheats Kids and Parents
WASHINGTON—Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten on the District of Columbia's Office of the Inspector General's report on cheating allegations in Washington, D.C., schools.
"This incomplete and inadequate report cheats kids and parents in the District of Columbia.
"Cheating is a serious allegation. We owed it to the kids, parents, teachers and taxpayers of Washington, D.C., to launch a full-scale, thorough investigation, as was done in cities such as Atlanta.
"By focusing on a single school, the Office of the Inspector General ignored the systemic indicators of cheating found in more than half of all schools in Washington, D.C. More than 103 schools were flagged for having statistically abnormal levels of wrong-to-right erasures.
"School officials have cheered rising test scores in Washington, D.C. But we are robbing our children of the high-quality education they need if those scores were the result of test tampering instead of genuine learning.
"The unfortunate reality is that, in too many school districts, a toxic culture is created when testing trumps teaching, meeting test targets trumps learning, and test scores become the ultimate accountability measure. It's time to restore balance and lead with teaching and learning."
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.