No Such Thing As An Opinion!

July 7, 2011

Cheating scandal vindicates me: It's true. American grades are inflated!

On June 17, I wrote an article titled "Say what? How many US students did you say have an A average?"

My article was written in response to this article
, which found:

" 1966, only 19 percent of college students who were surveyed earned an "A" or "A-minus" average in high school, compared with 48 percent in 2009."

In response to that finding, my article made the following claims:

1)  "48% of American high school students recently earned (er, received) an A or A- average?

There is no way in hell that 48% of those students deserved those grades, for many reasons!"

2)  "Numerous pieces of evidence consistently show that American academic performance has been decreasing
substantially over the years."

3)   "It's extremely unlikely, if not nearly impossible, for a legitimate (meaning if the exams were a good measure of ability and marked accurately) bell curve distribution to produce half of the students earning the top grades!"

4)  "Perhaps most indicative of the invalidity of the figure is this: There is no way in hell that the percentage of top students would increase from 19% to 48% over the same period of time that the best measures of academic ability show the
reverse pattern to be occurring!"

5)  "In addition, it defies common sense that academic ability would have risen so much during a period of time when immigration from lower IQ countries increased rapidly!  Since the immigration floodgates were opened in the 1960s, immigrants started flooding into the USA from countries where the people score lower on IQ tests than do Americans."

I came to the following conclusion:

"So what accounts for 48% of the students receiving an A or A- average?  It can only be two things:  Either they've made the questions much easier than they have been in the past, or they're assigning grades that are higher than they've actually earned!"

Now, fast forward to today:

On July 7, CNN

"Dozens of Atlanta public school educators falsified standardized tests or failed to address such misconduct in their schools, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday in unveiling the results of a state investigation that confirmed widespread cheating in city schools dating as far back as 2001.

Investigators said 178 teachers and principals working at 44 schools were involved in the cheating scandal. The educators, including 38 principals, were either directly involved in erasing wrong answers on a key standardized test or they knew -- or should have known -- what was going on, according to the governor's office.

Deal's office said 82 of the educators acknowledged involvement, according to the report. Six principals declined to answer investigators' questions and invoked the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, Deal said."

"The cheating was brought to light after marked improvements in the district's performance on the 2009 statewide CRCT revealed a pattern of incorrect test answers being erased and replaced with correct answers."

"Davis pledged to look at the target-setting process for teachers and conduct a survey of educators.

'I want to know if there is a climate of fear or intimidation,' he said."


Once again, I like to think that I've figured it out before others have :)  Stick with me :)

Followup note:

On August 8, 2011, CNN published an article titled: "Cheating report confirms teacher's suspicions

The article is quite interesting, as it provides a viewpoint from a teacher, but not just any teacher, one of the
honest teachers!

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