The Washington Post reported yesterday that several PWC teachers have been disciplined and will be given retraining for giving “inappropriate aide” to students on the recent SOL exams, otherwise known as cheating (see here). Incidents were reported at the following schools:
- Swans Creek Elementary
- Elizabeth Vaughan Elementary
- Cedar Point Elementary
- Woodbridge Middle School
- Kerrydale Middle School
I just wanted to take a brief moment to express my opinion on this issue. The teachers involved in this ought to be ashamed of themselves. I realize that there is intense pressure for kids to pass the SOL, but cheating by giving them the right answers is not acceptable. Retraining, frankly, is the minimum that should happen.
But I also know that most teachers won’t cheat unless they’re under intense pressure from their school Principal and administration. The pressure to do well on the SOL was so much more intense this year than I’ve ever seen it. My kids school was like a pressure cooker, and it’s never been like that before. The kids were stressed out, teachers were stressed out, and parents were stressed out. No wonder my children’s school ended up on the list of shame.
That sort of intense pressure comes from above – from school Principals and Central Administration. That’s not the way to run a school system.
So, while the teachers are being blamed and getting “retraining”, I hope that the Principals at each of these schools are also being disciplined and “retrained” to chill the heck out over the SOL.
The DC Examiner is also reporting on the cheating scandal in PWCS. According do the Examiner, a teacher at Cedar Point made an audio tape recording of the SOL tests, which violates state policies. There was no mention of the mean / median advice in the Examiner article, which you can read here.