Friday, February 12, 2010

Rose Mary Woods and the "Erasure Problem"

"This is the biggest erasure problem I've ever seen."
Professor Gregory J. Cizek
University of North Carolina Cheating Expert

The poor have been accused of a lot of things, but this one takes Marie Antoinette's bakery to a whole new level.

Georgia has an erasure problem--a closer look at Atlanta's results in Georgia's version of state testing reveals that a lot of the tests had incorrect answers erased and changed to correct answers at a far higher rate than can be reasonably expected.

"The amount of cheating is staggering."
Ben Scafidi, Director
Center for an Educated Georgia

I have not seen the data, so I've no way to assess the accusations, though clearly this warrants investigation. That districts are cheating to meet the NCLB requirements is hardly news these days.

Here's the news--apparently Atlanta has an erasure problem because of its disadvantaged children, at least according to APS spokesman Keith Bromery. In an explanation that makes Rose Mary Wood's explanation for the 18 minute gap in Nixon's tapes seem plausible, Mr. Bromery explains that disadvantaged kids "might easily stall on a question and fail to finish a test...They were told, 'Feel free to erase and change your answer because there's no penalty for that.'"

Oh, reeeaaaalllly....those darn pesky poor kids, erasing away and stealing answers, just like they steal Food Stamps and TANF funds.

Oh, it gets worse--each and every school on The Journal-Constitution list of schools that had extraordinary test gains show an erasure problem.

All quotes and information relating to the inquiry were lifted from the New York Times today,
"Georgia Schools Inquiry Finds Signs of Cheating,"page A14

And yes, I know Marie Antoinette never said "Let them eat cake." Doh. She spoke French.


Emu said...

Two days and no comments?

Allow me my 2¢.

Cheaters do not deserve trust. Neither do liars.

doyle said...

Dear Emu,

Thanks for your $0.02--I was surprised this did not gain more traction.

Be interesting to see if other states start scouring for erasures--I'm betting most don't look that closely, too much money could be jeopardized.