Friday, July 15, 2011

Deasy: Cheaters Welcome, But Liars Feel My Wrath

LAUSD unexpectedly revoked the charters of two schools involved in last year’s cheating scandal, and could shutdown all six schools in the Crescendo organization. The vote by the Los Angeles Board of Education came in the wake of revelations that a principal implicated in the cheating scandal had been rehired by the “outside” organization that had been brought in to manage the Crescendo schools, in flagrant violation of LAUSD’s directive no former Crescendo principals could work for Crescendo or Celerity, the “outside” manager (from the Daily Breeze).

The Face of a Sucker?
LAUSD superintendent John Deasy had given Crescendo a reprieve last month and accused the organization of lying to him. Celerity said that the principal, Sheryl Lee, was hired before they agreed to manage the Crescendo schools and argued that they could not retroactively terminate her. Then Deasy accused Celerity of lying to him, saying that they’d be the only people in LA who didn’t know about the ban on Crescendo principals.

Perhaps a better question is why did Deasy think that Crescendo or Celerity were trustworthy in the first place? Getting rid of a few principals is like busting a few corporals for the Abu Ghraib torture scandal. The cheating scandal at Crescendo was the direct result of an entirely corrupt system in which test scores have become so crucial to a school’s reputation (and profitability, in the case of private charters) that administrators can often be counted on to jook the numbers, either by request or by their own initiative. Cheating by schools and administrators might even be considered epidemic if we assume that Crescendo, Atlanta, Houston, Baltimore, D.C. and the entire state of Michigan are just the tip of the iceberg, which they probably are.

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