Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Widespread Atlanta School System Cheating Scandal

[Photo from]
White collar crime comes in many forms.  Put another way, there are more types of white collar crime than Jiffy Pop has popcorn.  And sometimes, it appears that such crime is just about as widespread as popcorn, too. 

This point was illustrated again this week by reports from Georgia's Governor Nathan Deal about widespread cheating in the Atlanta public school system.  According to a report from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, agents identified a whopping 178 school teachers and administrators who allegedly cheated on students' CRCT test scores, in order to "improve" their schools' test performances.  Reportedly, incorrect answers on students' tests were erased and changed by teachers and administrators.  Reported improvements in recent years in the Atlanta public school system's test scores had led to raves about school administrators.  Also, improvements in test scores had led to increased grants and funding from public and private sources.  But now, all of the accolades and reported improvement are seriously in doubt. 

Look, I am just an Augusta, Georgia criminal lawyer, not an educator.  It is not the goal of this post to address why such cheating occurs.  But, in your opinion, is there too much pressure or emphasis put on such school achievement tests?  Or is that just an excuse?  And what should happen to teachers who (if it can be proven) actually cheated?  Should they be fired and prosecuted?  What is your opinion?

But the point of this post is to show again that cheating, fraud, and other forms of white collar crime occur in many different ways.  And some white collar crime, as shown in the Atlanta school cheating scandal, is as widespread as Blue Bonnet butter on Southern biscuits!

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