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Proposed Education Bill Raises New Concerns Over Sanctioned Cheating in Georgia

Proposed Education Bill Raises New Concerns Over Sanctioned Cheating in Georgia

Georgia’s education system is receiving considerable attention this month. For one, it’s the year anniversary of the sentencing of eleven Atlanta educators for their parts in a massive cheating scandal that involved hundreds of educators.

Some of these educators, despite appealing prison sentences, are reportedly looking for jobs in schools once again.

For two, an education bill is awaiting the governor’s signature that would allow for students to opt-out of state exams so long as they have an accompanying doctor’s note.

According to Fox News, the proposed bill raises new concerns over permitting widespread cheating in a state that just recently overcame a huge cheating scandal.

Senate Bill 355, the article says, could be "used as a way for educators to nudge certain students to skip on test day, to keep classroom scores up.”

Because the state’s teachers are judged on test results, experts worry that such legislation could act as a temptation for teachers to influence scores.

Critics argue that “scoring” a doctor’s note is too easy to be legitimized in legislation.

Concern over teachers influencing student opt-outs is not limited to Georgia alone.

In New York, where 20 percent of students opted out of state exams last year, officials and educators sparred this testing season as teachers reportedly e-mailed parents to garner support for the opt-out movement.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

4/18/2016

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