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APS: Who's Really At Fault? | Community Spirit

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APS: Who's Really At Fault?
APS: Who's Really At Fault?

First off, let me say that I am THOROUGHLY impressed with 11Alive's coverage and breakdown of the APS investigation report. If you were not able to catch their school-by-school review, you can view the video here. WARNING: It's startling, it's disappointing and scary to think that these accounts render a "mafia-like" mentality. How can people we've held in such high regard, and entrusted the educational careers of our children in, do such things? Good question... but here's an even better one... "Who's REALLY At Fault?"

As a former teacher, I know the pressures of standardized testing. Though I taught in a different state, the gripe is same and almost like a universal language amongst teachers across this nation: "Teach to the test! Pass the test! Motivate for the test, The Test, THE TEST!" The bad part about it is that EVERYONE is stressed; thus, causing a trickle down effect of frustration that leaves SOME educators to do things they wouldn't normally do... or in this case, "BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!"

I am not saying that what these people did was right. It was WRONG! TOTALLY WRONG! However, it does cause one to ask why would these educators choose the WRONG option? Couldn't they have taught a little harder? Couldn't they have been more creative in their instruction? Couldn't they have created more tutorial or enrichment programs for the kids? I'm sure they could... and I'm sure they did, but here's where I play "devil's advocate" and ask the questions that NO ONE is asking...

Mind you, I'm not passing blame, but if APS educators had no other option but to cheat, what does that say about parental accountability to their children's education? If parents actually took interest in extending classroom education at home (i.e. encouraging their kids to read more books, actively participate in the completion of homework assignments, set personal incentive programs in the home for doing well, etc.) do you think the scores would speak for themselves instead of needing "help"?

Chew on that...

Now, again, I'm not passing blame here, and I still believe that these people made poor choices in trying to advance their schools' reputations, but we have to look at the other side of the disappointment as well.

Maybe I'm crazy... Maybe I'm wrong for presenting a different perspective to the issue, but I believe that  it IS a valid concern.Personally, I made the right decisions when it came down to the pressures of testing. I, and other teachers, rallied together to create reading programs, offer free after-school tutorials, and created incentives for learning. At the end of the day, I don't have kids, but I've taught many. I may not be a parent by the traditional sense, but I was one in my classroom... we all were, and some still are. With that in mind, I leave you with this... What would YOU do for your child... and are you doing it?