To fail or to not pass…

Ethics play a role in virtually any situation.  Weather your own ethics, those of the company you are representing, codes of ethics, anything. They exist, or they should at least.

By now the Atlanta teacher scandal has made national news and is well known.  For a quick background, 35 educators in a Georgia teaching scandal allegedly changed the scores on their students state standardized tests. They reportedly did this to increase the passing rate of students in their districts (and gain bonuses). Ethical or unethical? 

They claimed to do this to help the image of their school districts and students.  The pressure placed on teachers to have their students pass these ridiculous ‘standardized’ tests is getting crazier and crazier.  In some states if a certain percentage of your students fail, you receive disciplinary action.  Others if a certain percentage pass you receive bonuses and great praise.  So where is the line?  The question always comes into play of what exactly should you be teaching to ensure you actually teach for one, but that you teach the material that will be on these tests.  Teaching has turned into teaching for tests, not teaching for teaching.  Many teachers argue these tests that are supposed to be standardized don’t actually correctly represent what you should know at each grade level you are required to participate in the testing. So how do you draw a line in what you need your students to know to be successful and what they need to know to pass a test that allows you to keep your job?

Of course the answer is never cheating or changing scores on tests for your students, that’s pretty obvious, and other ways to handle this situation could have been implemented.  So now what?  Is this a reality shock to the testing creators to re evaluate their tactics or just a case of teachers wanting to be the best?  Ethics come into play pretty heavily in this situation and I’m sure there will be people on both sides of the ethical/unethical spectrum.  What are your thoughts?


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