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Thu Apr 16, 2015, 03:25 AM

America Is Criminalizing Black Teachers

America Is Criminalizing Black Teachers: Atlanta's Cheating Scandal and the Racist Underbelly of Education Reform

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/29630-america-is-criminalizing-black-teachers-atlantas-cheating-scandal-and-the-racist-underbelly-of-education-reform

But now we are expected to believe that prosecuting these teachers as racketeers is an act of justice. Nothing is just about making Black women sacrificial lambs of an educational system hellbent on throwing Black children away. The images of their handcuffed Black bodies being led in shame from the courtroom gives Black parents angry about the miseducation of their children a convenient target for their angst and outrage over a failing system. Meanwhile, the real racket – privatization and defunding of public schools, diversion of taxpayer resources away from education, and increasing political clout and payouts for school reformers proselytizing the false gospel of high stakes testing – gets obscured. And white children still get educated well, either in private schools or in suburban schools funded through a solid property tax base.

Everything I am today, I owe to my mother and to a Black teacher who saw a spark in me and nurtured it. For so many exceptionally achieving Black people, a providential encounter with a Black teacher is the singular thing that made the difference. No other group of people systematically and structurally love and care about Black children more than Black mothers and Black (usually female) teachers. They have been the ones holding aloft the banner emblazoned with the revolutionary idea that Black Lives Matter, before it was ever a slogan upon which to build a movement. An attack on Black teachers is an attack on Black children, Black families, and Black communities. We should stand in solidarity with these teachers and these students and say, “Not on our watch"

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Reply America Is Criminalizing Black Teachers (Original post)
eridani Apr 2015 OP
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Apr 2015 #1
LWolf Apr 2015 #2
eridani Apr 2015 #3

Response to eridani (Original post)

Thu Apr 16, 2015, 06:11 AM

1. The sentencing on those teachers was ridiculous.

They were as much victims as the children. Forced into unethical acts by the economic threats held over their schools by idiotic education policy. Policy designed to punish those who need the most help, those whose students struggle more with poverty and lack of funding with even less funding.

The real people who 'hurt thousands of children' were those who pushed mandatory testing and linked it to school funding, teacher's jobs. Arne Duncan should be headed to jail instead of those teachers. They should simply have been allowed to teach, not forced to jump through stupid hoops or suffer.

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 16, 2015, 06:52 AM

2. +1

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Thu Apr 23, 2015, 06:28 PM

3. Why Were Atlanta Teachers Prosecuted Under a Law Meant for Organized Crime?

http://www.thenation.com/article/205065/why-were-atlanta-teachers-prosecuted-under-law-meant-organized-crime

In Atlanta, eight teachers, administrators, and testing coordinators have been sentenced to prison terms of one to seven years for falsifying results on standardized tests. Twenty-one others who accepted plea deals will serve lesser sentences. The Fulton County district attorney accused the educators of having “altered, fabricated, and falsely certified” answer sheets as part of a cheating conspiracy that touched a majority of the city’s public elementary and middle schools. Remarkably, the educators were charged under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act—an unprecedented application of a law intended to attack organized crime.

By press time, Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter, facing widespread criticism, had announced that he will resentence three administrators given seven-year prison sentences.

Meanwhile, the policies that motivated cheating remain in place. Back in 2002, President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act ushered in a high-stakes standardized-testing regime that enshrined “Adequate Yearly Progress,” a measure demanding high test scores, as the mechanism by which to evaluate schools. The Obama administration’s Race to the Top initiative leveraged billions of federal dollars to tighten those screws, pushing states to tie their teacher evaluations to test scores. Administrators were expected to deliver extreme improvements, including an impossible mandate that every single student score as proficient in reading and math by 2014. Schools that failed to make the grade could be—and were—shut down or taken over by private charter-school operators.

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