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The Washington Independent

Diane Ravitch says No Child Left Behind to blame for Atlanta cheating scandal

In the fallout over the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal, in which 178 teachers and principals from 44 schools were implicated in altering student

Tobey Strickland
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Jul 07, 2011

In the fallout over the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal, in which 178 teachers and principals from 44 schools were implicated in altering student answers on state standardized tests, education historian and critic of school testing Diane Ravitch explained in an interview with CBS News what she believes motivates educators and administrators to cheat: No Child Left Behind.

Here’s a partial transcript of what she said:

What we’re seeing in Atlanta is the culmination of a rotten federal policy. We have a terrible federal law, called No Child Left Behind, that says all schools must have 100 percent of their students proficient in reading and math by 2014 or their schools will be closed down, or they’ll be privatized, or the principals will be fired and the staff may be fired … this law is such a bad law because it incentivizes cheating, and it puts the pressure on to get the scores up.

The full video clip to Diane Ravitch’s CBS interview:

The American Independent has reported on unethical or questionable school district procedures that scholars and education veterans allege is the result of officials seeking to parry the punitive consequences of low performing schools. With most high-profile school districts in urban areas, where the percentage of students designated as low-income routinely exceeds 70 percent and, at times, reaches over 90 percent, insiders maintain not enough funding is allocated to combating the effects poverty has on a student’s academic experience.

Tobey Strickland | Reiki Master. In the process of becoming a real estate mogul. Brewery aficionado. Netflix series critic who is semi-professional. Every day, I assist clients in locating their ideal dream house. After I finish my work for the day, you can find me at Crossfit, doing yoga, or meeting up with friends to listen to live music around town. I enjoy traveling regularly, whether it's relaxing on a South American beach or hiking through Asia's mountains. Now it's your turn. What are your favorite places to visit?


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