A hard-hitting interview of Robert McCartney on the ways that DCPS has been refusing to do a real investigation of any of the large numbers of suspected instances of cheating by adults. He points out that the supporters of Michelle Rhee (and that would include Kaya Henderson, our current Chancellor) want to have the entire public forget about the whole thing, so that their EduDeforms will look better.
Another video by a group in Ohio linking Governor Kasich with the fraud that is Michelle Rhee.
I want to applaud McCartney for writing and saying what he did. I think it is quite telling that he says that the folks who are stalling are saying that since they did all this stalling, it’s now too late to get students and adults to remember accurately what happened; everything’s better now; it didn’t matter then, and it’ll matter less now, because we’ve fixed the problem.
All of which, as he points out, is mere excuses. And it kind of reminds me of the definition of chutzpah — the person who murders his/her parents and then asks for the mercy of the court because he/she’s an orphan. In this case, they did their best to drag their feet so that any information only comes out TEN FULL MONTHS after the last DC- CAS administration, and a lot of teachers, administrators, parents and students have been fired, dropped out, moved to other schools, quit, transferred, and so on; and plus, people forget. So, as a result, they say, we can’t really investigate.
As I’ve pointed out before, there are numerous other mathematical and statistical ways of detecting cheating in addition to the “wrong-t0-right erasure” analysis method. It’s not hard to get McGraw-Hill CTB to run the very same data tapes through their computers again and investigate the answers in other ways, such as looking for patterns of WRONG answers. (Described in chapter one of the original Freakonomics book by Dubner and Levitt.)
It doesn’t take any 10 months to do. You order the second forensic package at the same time as you order the standard wrong-to-right erasure package, and it’s like blood or urine tests. You have two different tests done on the same data (blood or urine, if it’s a medical question; in this case, the patterns of the right and wrong answers), and if they both agree that in classroom X and in school Y there is an overwhelming probability of cheating (and we’re talking 9999 of of 10,000 or more), then you bring in the suspects to a dark interrogation room with barred windows and a single strong light. You also bring in the “good lawyer, bad lawyer” team to help with the interrogation. You also promise to go lighter if they can give you more names. Circumstantial evidence, that is, documentary evidence is, if handled correctly, more likely to be accurate than eyewitness testimony that is unsupported by any documentation.
The cheaters will eventually squeal if enough pressure is placed on them.
And we should bring Wayne Ryan back so we can see him squirm, too.
[As usual, there is a “comments” button at the end of this column. You kinda hafta look really close to find it, though.]