Those Cheating Hearts
Since I've spent this past week at a fun-filled extravaganza we call "summer journalism workshop," little work has been done at the Denton Beach House. To be quite honest, I'm not sure what's more exhausting--pulling staples out of wood floors and washing paint out of my hair or spending five days with 21 teenagers 24/7.
Either way, I'm in serious need of some yoga classes and some quiet time. In between running to yearbook and newspaper sessions and checking on my darling inspirations, I've watched with some interest this test cheating extravaganza going on in Atlanta. As an educator, that sort of thing makes my heart sink.
I just don't understand what part of let's-erase-these-wrong-answers seems like a good idea. According to an article in USA Today, teachers even held "changing parties" at their homes where they altered test answers. Now trust me, I've gone to lots of teacher parties over the years–Pampered Chef parties, Tupperware parties and Thirty-one parties, but I've never, ever been invited to a "Changing Party."
What do they do there? Hand out erasers as party favors? Play pin-the-tail on the correct answer sheet? Have a karaoke contest to see who can sing all the words to "Your Cheating Heart"?
Interestingly enough, DeSoto, a community located just south of Dallas, hired one of the Atlanta school officials embroiled in this controversy as its new superintendent.
The Dallas Morning News reported Friday that Kathy Augustine, one of the Atlanta school officials investigated in the scandal, misled state officials about cheating there. According to the state report, Augustine "either knew or should have known cheating and other misconduct was occurring in schools in the APS system."
Interestingly enough, the DeSoto School board will meet next week to discuss the situation. Augustine is scheduled to take over her $188,000 position as school superintendent on Monday.
I would have liked to have pondered and read all about that stuff a bit more, but I had some of my own drama brewing outside my hotel door. Seems one of my journalism kiddos swam into the pool wall and now has a knot the size of a silver dollar on her forehead.
As some will say, "No rest for the weary or the wicked…"