Texas chief takes leave amid Atlanta test scandal

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DALLAS — A newly named Texas school district superintendent agreed Monday to take a paid leave of absence as trustees re-examine her previous administrative post in the Atlanta school system, which is embroiled in widespread allegations of cheating on standardized tests.

Trustees of the DeSoto Independent School District held a lengthy closed-door meeting that lasted late into the night before Superintendent Kathy Augustine read a statement announcing she was taking the leave of absence effective Tuesday.

"Please know that I understand your need for thoughtful deliberations about my appointment," Augustine told the trustees after announcing the decision, which she said was reached after "mutual consideration."

The board voted to select Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services Levatta Levels as the interim superintendent. After Augustine announced she was taking leave, the trustees took no immediate action on a proposal to terminate her employment.

Georgia investigators found that 178 educators there had cheated on standardized tests used to meet federal benchmarks. Augustine has repeatedly denied having any knowledge of test cheating as Atlanta's deputy superintendent but acknowledged Monday that some of the educators she once believed in "violated a professional trust."

"I've spent my entire career working to improve student learning, so it broke my heart to read how some educators chose to shortchange children by altering test documents," she said. "For my part, I recognize we could have done a better job putting tighter controls on test security."

DeSoto schools hired Augustine in April to the $188,000-a-year job in the district, which has some 9,000 students in the Dallas area.

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rmwhitley
5508
Points
rmwhitley 07/12/11 - 09:40 am
0
0
Hernando DeSoto would be
Unpublished

Hernando DeSoto would be proud.

corgimom
26303
Points
corgimom 07/12/11 - 10:32 am
0
0
This is what happens when you

This is what happens when you give tests to immature children and tie adults' careers and compensation to those tests.

Needing to use the bathroom, an argument with a friend, trouble at home, being hungry, being tired, eating a big meal, eating a sugary snack prior to testing, anxiety, distracted by what their friends are doing, distracted by what's happening outside, not caring about the tests, short attention spans, and just plain BEING A KID, all deeply affects test scores.

The cheating was inevitable, because NCLB and APY is a terrible idea that was doomed to produce this.

I wonder how many people would think it's ok if THEIR compensation was tied to childrens' performance- when children have no comprehension as to people's jobs and careers and how their actions affect others, because they can't possibly understand that?

I fully understand why the cheating happened. What did people expect?

These same parents that wouldn't dream of letting their children make adult decisions for them, then get all in an uproar about cheating on test scores. If you tied the parents' compensation to their childrens' test performances, parents would scream bloody murder. They would look at it far differently, believe me.

There is going to be more and more of this. I think it's more than 178, it's just that 178 got caught.

seenitB4
79609
Points
seenitB4 07/12/11 - 10:36 am
0
0
corgi...I agree 199% with

corgi...I agree 199% with you..

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 07/12/11 - 10:39 am
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Corgimon, Professionals

Corgimon,

Professionals resist the temptation to cheat on tests, professional fees, circulation data, mortgagee information, securities prospecti, etc.

Prostitutes fall victim to temptations to do unethical things.

justthefacts
20027
Points
justthefacts 07/12/11 - 10:43 am
0
0
seenit, I guess we cancel

seenit, I guess we cancel each other out.

seenitB4
79609
Points
seenitB4 07/12/11 - 10:50 am
0
0
JTF....I just hate that when

JTF....I just hate that when we cancel each other....lol...we don't always though!
The teachers were afraid of losing their jobs...the students in todays world are nothing like yesterdays..

justthefacts
20027
Points
justthefacts 07/12/11 - 11:03 am
0
0
seenit, everyone should be

seenit, everyone should be accountable to do their job. Are we suppose to call the teachers together and say, look we know it's tough out there (due to all the reasons corgi mentioned) so therefore the heck with it. No one can teach these kids honestly, so cheat.

seenitB4
79609
Points
seenitB4 07/12/11 - 11:07 am
0
0
Did your name change to

Did your name change to spinks??? lol

They were wrong to do it---I guess mortgage-food-gas-heating-economy problems got in their way...my bet is this is happening all over the USA.

allhans
22980
Points
allhans 07/12/11 - 11:37 am
0
0
I seem to remember waa-ay

I seem to remember waa-ay back when that we had a test every few weeks. At the end of the school term we had finals in every subject that covered the entire year. Two days later we had our scores (and a report card). Do they have this test now that so many can't seem to pass instead of finals?

wondersnevercease
9216
Points
wondersnevercease 07/12/11 - 12:04 pm
0
0
I say total BS!...These
Unpublished

I say total BS!...These people cheated because they have no integrity.............blaming children for the illegal actions of supposed dedicated adults is beyond comprehension...its obscene.

Sweet son
9544
Points
Sweet son 07/12/11 - 02:48 pm
0
0
And we all need to realize

And we all need to realize this type of activity is closer to home than we would want to admit. All of the Boards of Education in the State need to be examined for this problem!

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