Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A-a-and here comes another layer of investigators

Feds probe Atlanta schools | ajc.com
Federal authorities are investigating whether Atlanta Public Schools committed fraud by illicitly boosting scores on standardized tests, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.

...The CRCT provides a key measure of whether schools are meeting standards mandated by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Meeting the standards can earn those schools additional federal money, which principals can spend for almost anything they wish.

But if the schools are found to have earned extra grants through inflated scores, officials could face criminal charges. The U.S. attorney’s office also could ask a judge to order the school district to reimburse the federal government. The bonus grants for Atlanta schools total nearly $360,000 a year.
This strikes at the core of the fiction that public schools are locally-run. "We can't just tell you what to do," says the Fed, "but we'll make it worth your while to do it our way, if you take my meaning." And the local school boards, for their part, will jump through any hoop the Fed puts in place to get that money. The idea of NOT doing so simply doesn't occur to them. "That's OUR money," the school board will say. It was written into the budget years ago.

"Bonus" grants? Hah!

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