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Secret Teacher: Many Teachers Cheat to Meet School Targets

Secret Teacher: Many Teachers Cheat to Meet School Targets

Meeting school targets can be difficult, but is it true that most teachers cheat to meet them?

According the latest “Secret Teacher” article in The Guardian, many teachers find themselves cheating in order to complete certain assessments or targets in their schools. Note: this feature allows the essayist to be anonymous. While the publication is based in the UK, some universal themes can be found in articles such as these.

Secret Teacher said that there may be some teachers who “actually complete the assessed work for [their] pupils," or others who “give a child a few extra minutes to finish off an exam.”

“Wherever we position ourselves, cheating is happening, and I believe on a huge scale,” the unidentified teacher said.

According to the Secret Teacher, there are common techniques among teachers: “seating less and more able children together so the former can copy from the latter; pointing out mistakes to borderline pupils; writing in correct answers where gaps have been left on a test paper; completing the coursework for a student and passing it off as their own; artificially raising all the children in a class a full grade, but keeping them in ability order to avoid suspicion.”

“If I’m looking to level the blame for this despairing state of affairs, I wouldn’t lay it at the door of the wonderful professionals who work at the [chalkboard] every day,” Secret Teacher said. “I’d start with The Chart, one of the many sheets stuffed with data that measure teacher performance. Statistics have become the de facto arbiter of a teacher’s value. Anything outside the myopic parameters of the chart is worthless.”

The chart, Secret Teacher said, “completely dominates our education like never before with its mantra of ‘progress’ and metric of levels.”

“To add insult to misery, nobody says a word,” said Secret Teacher. “We play the game, sticking our fingers in our ears and shouting at the top of our voices to drown out any semblance of regret or remorse. Unfortunately the group who suffers most in all this are the ones without a voice – our pupils, with their school life now a miasma of tests and pressure. A world where the possibility that they are anything other than a statistic is a luxury we can’t afford.”

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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