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Atlanta School Scandal

Recorded on July 6, 2011

From the Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.

In Atlanta, the newspaper was skeptical about rising test scores that seemed too good to be true, prompting an investigation of public schools.

The outcome is a huge scandal. So far they uncovered 178 public school teachers and administrators in an organized cheating plot that dates back 10 years. It wasn't the students; it was the teachers who erased wrong answers after papers were turned in and penciled-in right ones. That produced higher scores that were required to keep taxpayer money flowing.

Now the cheaters gripe that there was too much pressure to show results.

The problem is not the standards or the tests, but schools that don't do their jobs. Bad educators try to hide behind the kids, but they don't deserve sympathy just because they work with children. Most teachers are good—but the rotten apples still spoil the whole barrel and must be removed.

From the Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.