Danielle Wright, BET, August 2, 2011
Is there ever a worthy explanation as to why a teacher would help her students cheat on a test?
According to a veteran Philadelphia teacher, yes, there is.
“I wanted them to succeed, because I believe their continued failure on these terrible tests crushes their spirit,” the unidentified teacher told the Notebook.org, a Philadelphia Public School site that serves as an independent voice for parents, educators and students. The teacher says she regularly provided assistance including definitions to unfamiliar words, comments on writing samples during tests, and says that she even discussed reading passages that they didn’t understand.
In a city made up of 43.2 percent Blacks and with the possibility of schools being shut down and teachers losing their jobs, she says cheating was “widespread” and “constant” amongst almost all of her students who were “poor and African-American.”
“Math teachers were sitting down in the seat next to the children, with a pencil, actually working out problems with them. I saw that many times,” she said.
In the past two years, 22 states and the District of Columbia have had confirmed cases of cheating. In July,BET.com reported that almost 80 percent of the schools in Atlanta falsified responses on the state’s standardized test.