Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Covering up failure - a lesson from the USA


The lengths to which people will go to cover up institutional failure are frightening - especially in the public sector. Here Atlanta Public Schools (APS) provide a master class:

Teachers and principals erased and corrected mistakes on students’ answer sheets.

Area superintendents silenced whistle-blowers and rewarded subordinates who met academic goals by any means possible.

Superintendent Beverly Hall and her top aides ignored, buried, destroyed or altered complaints about misconduct, claimed ignorance of wrongdoing and accused naysayers of failing to believe in poor children’s ability to learn.

For years — as long as a decade — this was how the Atlanta school district produced gains on state curriculum tests. The scores soared so dramatically they brought national acclaim to Hall and the district, according to an investigative report released Tuesday by Gov. Nathan Deal.

Self-interest will always trump "ethos" and where the wrong incentives are in place we get this sort of result. Don't think a similar situation couldn't take place in England. It is for this reason that we need more choice - not just an "expression of a preference" - in Education.


1 comment:

Phil said...

Of course there are some in England who would use this as evidence to suggest we shouldn't have any academic goals!