Understanding of what happened in Atlanta
The case of education of officials being involved in the alteration of student test scores can be linked to manipulation, greed and gullibility. Principals were inclined to condone and supervise the manipulation of test scores to ensure they do not lose their jobs. From previous records, the education superintendent had portrayed her fearsome nature by firing those principals who did not meet her targets. Increased performance meant the district superintendent got more finance bonuses. Teachers feared losing their jobs especially the single mothers.
Why did it happen? Who or what is to blame.
The situation in Atlanta occurred because of poor leadership skills. To begin with, once Dr. Hall took office, she developed a culture where she ruled with fear. She put this into action through firing principals who did not meet her targets. Thus, she set off a chain of events where, principals sought to manipulate the student test scores to avoid being fired. Dr. Hall evaluated teachers based on the standardized test scores. This has promoted the malice of cheating. Again, this form of cheating did not benefit the students, as the poor performing students would not be able to seek the required help from the teachers regarding their weaknesses in the different subjects.
What should “we”—as humane people, citizens—do about this, if anything?
Despite the many efforts that are being promoted in the reform of education, mechanisms need to be put in place that ensure individuals do not have the power to manipulate performance standards of students through intimidation. The government should develop improved ways of evaluating teachers, which will not entail them compromising the education standards. Furthermore, education tests need to be in harmony with the different educational abilities of the different students. Making exams more challenging increases the failure rate and this may translate to such a scenario like the one in Atlanta.