published Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Beverly Hall

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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AndrewLohr said...

Just divide education dollars among students to be spent however families decide: home, private, public, college, or real life. If the superintendent is a crook, students and dollars will leave. Instant accountability.

April 3, 2013 at 12:17 a.m.
fairmon said...

Atlanta is an example of too big too fast and destined to be the corrupt Chicago of the south.

April 3, 2013 at 4:16 a.m.
Cactus said...

Government education will not improve until elected officials start sending their kids to public schools.

April 3, 2013 at 6:29 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Cactus said: “Government education will not improve until elected officials start sending their kids to public schools.”

I agree that many of our elected officials are negligent when it comes to investing in our nation’s children and public school system, but when it comes to issues like ethics, I don’t believe the scores of the children who attend these private and/or parochial school children are higher. If they were, our elected officials would be better role models.

Interestingly, Beverly Hall attended private schools. I read that she was a graduate of Jamaica’s Saint Andrew High School for Girls and received her Ed.D. from Fordham University, which is a private university founded by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York – a university often described as being “in the Jesuit tradition.”

April 3, 2013 at 7:49 a.m.
patriot1 said...

So....private schools are the reason for the cheating scandal. Wow, what a stretch!!!!

April 3, 2013 at 9:06 a.m.
whatsnottaken said...

If these folks would've been running my college, I would have graduated. Dang it, wrong place (Great Plains where ethics is a big thing, not the big city where cash is king) and wrong time (the past). I would have even paid for the beer and pretzel at the grade-changing parties.

April 3, 2013 at 9:12 a.m.
degage said...

Where Beverly Hall went to school has nothing to do with the scandal. She received half a million dollars because the results went from 24% to 84% in one year. She claims she didn't know about the cheating so it seems a red flag would have been evident, but then if she checked it out she wouldn't get that bonus. I guess a red flag went up somewhere or we would never have heard about this.

A very few bad apples spoil the whole pot.

April 3, 2013 at 9:26 a.m.
jesse said...

Corruption is part of our culture now!Every where you look,in sports,politics,business or religion ethics are extinct!

Who are the role models now? Who do the young people of today look to to emulate?

April 3, 2013 at 9:27 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Patriot1 concludes: "So....private schools are the reason for the cheating scandal."

How do you do it, Patriot1? . . (sigh) . . . You seem to have real knack for missing the point. . . In this case, I was simply pointing out that when it comes to issues like ethics, children who attend private and pariochial schools do not fare any better so to speak than children who attend our public schools. . . Cheaters are everywhere.

I believe the issue is relevant because we’re living in a world today where so many politicians are trying to impose their personal religious beliefs onto the rest of us and are peddling the idea that certain religious schools are superior to public schools. Indeed, I just read that some North Carolina politicians want to establish an official state religion - talk about cheaters:

“Republican North Carolina state legislators have proposed allowing an official state religion in a measure that would declare the state exempt from the Constitution and court rulings.

The bill, filed Monday by two GOP lawmakers from Rowan County and backed by nine other Republicans, says each state "is sovereign" and courts cannot block a state "from making laws respecting an establishment of religion." The legislation was filed in response to a lawsuit to stop county commissioners in Rowan County from opening meetings with a Christian prayer, reported.”

April 3, 2013 at 9:44 a.m.
dimestore said...

Yes Andrew, providing monetary incentives to falsify test results will surely prevent future fraud. Tell us more...

April 3, 2013 at 9:45 a.m.
alprova said...

Cheating, by anyone, is never the way to achieve success, but what happened in Atlanta is a direct result of one of George W. Bush's legacies, "No Child Left Behind," which imposes financial and other penalties on schools having students with low test scores.

This black eye by a few educators should not be a reason for anyone to debase public schools across the land. Public schools, contrary to the opinion of some, do a great job of preparing our youth for adulthood.

Those of us who went through public schools have fond memories of many of our teachers, and for sure, there are educators out there who are lacking as well. But the same thing can be said of practically any other profession out there.

Every job I have ever had, included working with people who were good and decent employees, and a few who deserved to be fired for one reason or another.

Do educators deserve to be accountable? Of course they do, but I'm not sure that holding educators responsible for test scores are a good measure by which to evaluate their performance.

When are students themselves, or their parents for that matter, going to be held accountable if their youngsters are not meeting minimal standards? Anytime my children had problems in school, I made it clear to them and the school that I wanted to be involved in seeing to it that my child received whatever was necessary to improve their scores.

I have a daughter who struggled with math while in elementary school. I spent countless hours with her, and after a combination involving a great deal of patience and by showing her several different ways to do common calculations, we found a method that clicked, and she came to love math as much as I do.

How many of these under-performing students do not have parents who are involved in their child's education for so much as a minute? I'm betting most, or all of them.

I'm in no manner defending so much as one educator involved in this scandal, because they absolutely knew that what they did was totally wrong, but given that there has been a movement to tie test scores to teacher's salaries, it is understandable why it happened.

No Child Left Behind has been a very noble effort to attempt to improve schools, but I'm not sure that putting more pressure on teachers to produce shining students is completely fair.

Statistically, chances are higher that children who live in poverty will not perform as well in schools, and this is most likely because their parents are not highly educated themselves.

What it will take to break the cycle of under-education is going to take a combination of solutions, which of course should include holding teachers accountable, but not exclusively.

April 3, 2013 at 9:52 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Alprova asked: “When are students themselves, or their parents for that matter, going to be held accountable if their youngsters are not meeting minimal standards?

Hmmm. . . I certainly hope you’re not in agreement with those crazy Tennessee politicians who are proposing to “starve” the families of students who are not performing well in school:

“NASHVILLE — Legislation to cut welfare benefits of parents with children performing poorly in school has cleared committees of both the House and Senate after being revised to give the parents several ways to avoid the reductions.

The state Department of Human Services, which worked with Republican sponsors to draft the changes, withdrew its previous opposition to SB132. But the measure was still criticized by Democrats, including Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, and Rep. Vance Dennis, R-Savannah. It calls for a 30 percent reduction in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits to parents whose children are not making satisfactory progress in school.”

April 3, 2013 at 10:07 a.m.
patriot1 said...

Alpo says..."what happened in Atlanta is a direct result of George W. Bush..."

So now we have it, it's George Bush's fault, so says Alpo. Let's be pithy, what happened in Atlanta has to do with character, pure and simple.

April 3, 2013 at 10:17 a.m.

What’s with all this forcing your moral value judgments on these professional educators? You people can be so intolerant sometimes. Next thing you know, you’ll be forcing your Judeo-Christian values on the kids too. Don’t be so naïve. People are going to cheat anyway. Why offend them by implying that there are negative consequences for it? It’s THEIR choice – only between them and their own consciences. Deprive them of the choice to cheat and pretty soon, you’ll be taking all their choices away so that you can impose your values on them.

April 3, 2013 at 10:18 a.m.
acerigger said...

Republican lawmakers in Tennessee are threatening to block Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s school voucher bill over fears that Muslim schools could receive funding.

Be careful what you wish for.ROFLMAO!

April 3, 2013 at 10:59 a.m.
alprova said...

pATRIOT1 WROTE: "So now we have it, it's George Bush's fault, so says Alpo. Let's be pithy, what happened in Atlanta has to do with character, pure and simple."

I did not say that it was GWB's fault, but No Child Left Behind was his baby, and it has absolutely been responsible for putting pressure on teachers to produce results, so cheating was an inevitable by-product if some teachers desired to keep their jobs and/or their current salaries.

In some manner, I suppose that I do blame GWB, mind you in a very limited amount, for the scandal. It represents a plan that was not analyzed very well, kinda like his rushing to declare victory on a aircraft carrier to proclaim victory after dropping a few bombs.

Mountainlaurel, I most certainly am not on board with tying student performance to welfare.

However, parents, even those who lack an education, should be involved as much as possible in seeing to it that their kids do not wind up being left out of opportunities that a good education will bring them, if at all possible.

April 3, 2013 at 11:14 a.m.
limric said...

I think a compelling case should be made for WHY this is happening. And the answer seems leads to several notable parties. Alprova astutely touched on this which I’ll elaborate by using the "who benefits?" axiom.

[I’ll use Bush’s education advisor, Sandy Kress as one example. She went from lawmaker—to lobbyist; tapped billions of dollars in federal funds and shoveled them to private investors well connected to the Bush administration.]

So who Benefits?

1: Those who sell the standardized tests (NCLB) and see major profit through that venue.

2: There is an effort to foster a pretext that can be used to under-fund public schools (based on NCLB criteria)so moneys can be siphoned towards Charter Schools, many of which push a religious(re. Christian)curriculum.

3: There are enormous sums in making public assets (like public schools) become private ones.

4: There is a concerted and open effort to see teachers' unions crushed and organized Labor as a whole further knee-capped.

5: (This my conspiratorial side coming through.) There are there are some that know that with few to no options, children of the inner cities will resort to lives of crime and thereby feed the insatiable (and still growing) prison-industrial complex, or all volunteer (corporate mercenaries) army of empire.

Add to this list the usual politicians who posture that they care for their communities and want only the best for their students. In reality, they serve all of 1 through 5.

The word reform ALWAYS means some private entity is about to take public funds. It is, ‘corporate socialism’.

*Sigh - When it’s all said and done I believe Beverly Hall may get a finger waving and a scolding ‘BAD GIRL’ as a sentence, but she’ll be allowed to keep the half million. Or be asked to become the new head of 'Health an Human Services'!

April 3, 2013 at 11:25 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Acerigger notes: "Republican lawmakers in Tennessee are threatening to block Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s school voucher bill over fears that Muslim schools could receive funding."

Interesting link, Acerigger. . . Thanks . . . So much loyalty and the oaths of office that these so called representatives take to support the U. S. Constitution – talk about jerks, cheaters and lousy role models for America's school children.

April 3, 2013 at 12:24 p.m.
acerigger said...

Yes mountainlaurel, I'm sure this and all the other wing-nut,crack-pot legislation, including that which would cut families food assistance if their child doesn't do well in school,is all part of the "JOBS,JOBS,JOBS" agenda that these embarrassments to our state ran for election on!NOT

April 3, 2013 at 1:27 p.m.
Leaf said...

Although I've never been a fan of GWB, I don't really blame him for the failures of No Child Left Behind. Any bill that makes it through Congress is going to get screwed up in committee and it's likely that some lobbyist is going to get a plum stuck in there somewhere.

I do believe the best intentions often go awry and this is one of those cases. I think most people suspected it might have bad unintended consequences but maybe they thought the bill was a good start, or better than nothing. Kinda reminds me of Obamacare. It's a good start. Could have been better without too many cooks in the kithen.

Cheating and gaming the system will always happen. There will always be people who see an opportunity for profit and exploit it. That's not necessarily a conspiracy - that's capitalism.

April 3, 2013 at 2:52 p.m.
Leaf said...

Cactus, true dat.

It's worse in Chattanooga than most places. It's a vicious spiral of bad public schools, flight to the private schools, less funding and students to public schools, more flight to privates. That's why private school vouchers are a bad idea. They only hasten the downward spiral.

April 3, 2013 at 3:01 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Kleiman makes a very good point:

“A school superintendent allowing his staff to doctor students' answers on a set of high-stakes standardized exams has something in common with a corporate CEO holding a bundle of stock options who practices "earnings management" via bogus asset sales. Each is responding to an intense incentive system by faking success rather than producing it.

One could formulate this as a general principle: any incentive to create a result also creates an incentive to simulate the same result. The corollary is obvious: the greater the incentive, the greater the temptation. Or, as W. C. Fields put it in You Can't Cheat an Honest Man, "If a thing is worth winning, it's worth cheating for." Borrowing Fields's real name, I propose to call this generalization Dukenfield's Law of Incentive Management. Designers of control systems ignore Dukenfield's Law at their peril, and ours.”

April 3, 2013 at 3:46 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Bennett cracks me up. All the things he could do a cartoon on (besides his standard 3 topics) and he gives us Atlanta school corruption?

Nothing on Common Core, North Korea, 5/10 largest economies abandoning the US dollar, A Latin American trade currency being introduced, The Obamacare Train Wreck, Obama’s Abysmal Basketball, Obama Pushing for More Junk Mortgages, Cyprus???

Petty and irrelevant come to mind.

April 3, 2013 at 4:41 p.m.
chatt_man said...

Leaf, if you will check the Right2know area of this website, you will find that the average spent per pupil in the Hamilton Co Schools is actually higher than some private schools' tuition in the area.

April 3, 2013 at 5 p.m.
whatsnottaken said...

No Child Gets Ahead does cause a lot of problems. Teachers are required to get students to a certain level or their jobs are at stake. You can't teach those who aren't in school and whose parents don't care enough to get them there. Tie some Salazar money and welfare money to school attendance and watch kids start showing up, and grades come up.

April 3, 2013 at 5:19 p.m.
chatt_man said...

That's correct, it is hard to figure out how to evaluate teachers with the various areas and mix of students the teachers are given to educate. I'm not sure what the percentage is, but some parents are not involved with their kids' schoolwork at all. Until that problem is solved i'm not sure how it gets better.

April 3, 2013 at 5:29 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

“We pledged in the No Child Left Behind Act that the federal government would do all in its power to guarantee every child in America, regardless of race, economic background, language or disability, the opportunity to get a world-class education.

We have made progress toward fulfilling that commitment. Before the act was passed, most states lacked ways to track student progress and teacher effectiveness. Many state accountability requirements had no commitment to improving education for every child. Only four states had approved assessments that tracked and reported the achievement of every group of students in their schools.

Today, all 50 states have standards, assessments and accountability procedures that enable us to track the achievement of every group of students. Every school measures performance, based not on overall student population but on progress in closing achievement gaps and getting all students to meet high standards. Schools across the country are using assessments under the No Child law to identify weaknesses in instruction and areas of need for their students.

No Child Left Behind is not just a slogan. It's a national commitment, inspired by our fundamental values and aspirations. It's a promise to do all we can so that every American child receives the high-quality education he or she needs and deserves. We may never achieve that lofty goal, but if we hope to keep America strong and just, prosperous and free, we can never stop trying.”

Edward M. Kennedy Democratic senator from Massachusetts, a lead author of the Leave No Child Behind Act. Monday, March 26, 2007

April 3, 2013 at 6:15 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...


I thought you might enjoy this...

Thus is the problem with drawing conclusions from a single incident.

April 3, 2013 at 6:21 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Acerigger said: "I'm sure this and all the other wing-nut,crack-pot legislation, including that which would cut families food assistance if their child doesn't do well in school,is all part of the "JOBS,JOBS,JOBS" agenda that these embarrassments to our state ran for election on!"

Yes, if only U.S. politicians were half as enthusiastic about providing adequate funding for our schools and addressing the day to day hurdles that many children in America face:

- Hunger - 3 out of 5 teachers say they have children in their classrooms who regularly come to school hungry. These students struggle to concentrate and often lose valuable instruction time due to headaches and stomach aches.

- Domestic Violence - Children exposed to violence often experience difficulties in school and score lower on assessments of verbal, motor, and cognitive skills.

- Poverty - Poverty occurring early in a child's life is associated with large effects on indices of child school readiness and cognitive outcomes.

- Disabilities - Children are likely to need additional support at school if they have motor, sensory impairments, specific language impairments, autistic spectrum disorder, learning or attention difficulties.

- Mental Health - Mental health problems such as depression or eating disorders can also affect children’s ability to learn.

April 3, 2013 at 6:36 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...


I think you forgot the preoccupation with gang associations, proving yourself through violence and drugs.

April 3, 2013 at 7:02 p.m.
fairmon said...

A voucher system is needed and will take politicians and unions out of the mix. Public schools should be well funded and staffed with highly qualified teachers to teach those with special needs and learning difficulties, all others use their voucher and select their school. Every child should have access to three good "healthy eating" meals at school every day regardless of the families income or lack of income. The true measurement of a good teacher is did the child make good progress? This should be determined by an independent test unknown in advance to teachers and school administrators. Competition is good, winners and losers are a fact of life, we have well trained officials to assure each player or team has a good chance to use and showcase their skills according to the rules. School administrators and teachers need good well trained officials instead of that old we will police our self BS.

April 3, 2013 at 7:19 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Students have access to breakfast at school, paid for if the parents meet income guidelines, same for lunch. Food stamps if spent wisely should keep them fed relatively well at nights and on weekends. Some cities have weekend and summer meal programs at no cost to the parent. This shouldn't be an issue, if it is look at the parent and get them to do some kind of public service work as punishment until they get their act together. Same as for excessive tardies and absences.

April 3, 2013 at 8:50 p.m.
acerigger said...

Yeah,BigRidgePatriot,that should be one to watch,,for more info on who this particular "intruder" turns out to be.

April 3, 2013 at 11:11 p.m.
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