When standardized test results are used to measure performance NOT of children being tested but of schools and individuals who run the schools, bad things can happen.
In Atlanta, it looks like “it happened.”
In Kate Brumback’s article, “Former Atlanta Schools Chief Indicted In Cheating Scandal” in the Huffington Post, she reports that falsified test scores led to bonus payments and artificial levels of performance for different schools.
Thus far, about three dozen former educators have been indicted for racketeering and conspiracy, among other things.
Standardized tests given to children are intended to measure THEIR performance in schools and, ultimately, provide an indication of how well schools are doing their jobs. When the latter is part of the equation, there is an opportunity for abuse.
In Atlanta, implementation of the “No Child Left Behind” law led to many children being left behind. This is very disturbing because this may be just the tip of the iceberg in the world of assessment scandals.