Sunday, April 13, 2008

Texas Schools Are Corrupt!!!

If there is any one indication that standardized testing in our schools to determine how well our students are doing is a miserable failure (other than the problems of massive numbers of student dropping out of urban high schools, teachers teaching to the test -- which means the teachers teach students strategies to pass the test rather than content, contra claims of test supporters) is the high level of cheating which occurs. In Dallas the assistant principal at Skyline school was caught changing grades and throwing away scores by a teacher. The result? The teacher was fired and the assistant principal still has his job. Such an incident should result in a few things: 1) the principal should be investigated, as an accomplice to fraud, 2) the board should be investigated to learn why they are protecting this assistant principal, who 3) should have been fired on the spot. The fact is that this kind of fraud is no uncommon in Dallas schools or, quite frankly, anywhere else in the country. Why isn't this level of corruption being rooted out? Why aren't principals, assistant principals, and teachers who do this being fired? Why aren't school boards who refuse to fire such people -- let alone allow those who expose fraud to be fired -- themselves investigated. These people need to be in prison. Certainly they have no business being involved in the education of our children.

In the meantime, another teacher in the La Joya school system in Texas may not have her contract renewed for next year because she "stole" tangerine peels from the school lunch room trash for use in a citrus contest. Apparently taking trash that will be thrown away is a fireable offense in our schools, but making test scores trash doesn't. So after forcing a resignation, the school district retracted the resignation and has (pretty obviously) made up a bunch of other charges to justify firing her. And her best defender said that what she did was "wrong." How on earth can you say that what she did was wrong? It is neither wrong nor should it be illegal -- let alone a fireable offense.

If you want to be appalled about something, I recommend you look into the laws surrounding school food. There's some pretty bizarre stuff there. And this is no doubt part of that bizarre set of laws. Still, law or no law, this is a clear example of someone exercising power for the sake of exercising power. Such people should not be allowed to have any. I'm not going to hold by breath that this board will face anything but reelection, though.

I guess the common rule in our schools is to make up whatever you want to get rid of people who aren't doing anything wrong -- and in fact are doing what is right and just and good.
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