Former Deerwood Academy assistant principal Tabeeka Jordan, center, is led to a holding cell after a jury found her guilty in the Atlanta Public Schools test-cheating trial, Wednesday, April 1, 2015, in Atlanta. Jordan and 10 other former Atlanta Public Schools educators accused of participating in a test cheating conspiracy that drew nationwide attention were convicted Wednesday of racketeering charges. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kent D. Johnson, Pool)
The eyes of the nation have been transfixed on various scandals that have affected various school districts culminating in educators facing harsh punishment such as jail time in New York City, California, Washington D.C. Philadelphia, New Jersey and most recently in Atlanta, Georgia, where eleven African-American educators were mercilessly chastised by Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter as they were led away in handcuffs.
New York (CNN) — A public school teacher in the Bronx has been arrested for allegedly raping a 10-year-old student in his car after school, according to NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne. Anthony Criscuolo, 40, was arrested on Wednesday after the victim’s mother reported the alleged rape to the police, according to NYPD detective Marc Nell. He was charged with first-degree rape and predatory sexual assault of a child, Browne said. The incident occurred on Monday.
“They are convicted felons as far as I’m concerned. They made their bed and now they have to lie in it,” Baxter said, with barely concealed disgust etched across his face.
The educators in Atlanta were convicted on racketeering charges stemming from a massive test cheating scandal that was unearthed by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. The cheating revolved around educators changing children’s answers on tests prior to the tests being sent out for scoring, all with the aim of obtaining performance bonuses. According to reports, 178 educators were involved in the scandal, which spanned 44 Atlanta schools. Thirty five educators were indicted, with more than 21 garnering in plea deals. Of the twelve who went to trial, one was exonerated and 11 were convicted.
11 Atlanta Educators were convicted of cheating on school tests. 178 were initially charged, 35 were indicted, more than 21 took plea deals. One superintendent died a month ago from breast cancer.
Many of the convicted educators insisted that they were “pressured” to cheat by higher ups including former Atlanta Superintendent Beverly Hall, who said she was too sick to stand trial and died a month ago from breast cancer. In other states, New York being a main culprit, educators are often charged with sexually molesting children but due to onerous union protections they are kept on the city payroll while the cases wind through the court system. In Atlanta, there is no union protection.
It should be a source of enormous shame that despite different administrations at all levels of the nation’s educational system from the federal to the state and local levels, the public education system is fraught with such dysfunction, despair, lack of integrity and poor outcomes. Yet, cheating is never the answer. The only solution to improved outcomes for children is to emphasize strong school- family- community partnerships.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (center) stands with NY State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, the first African-American to hold the post, and announces historic education reforms and teacher evaluation.
Effort must be expended to actively collaborate with parents and guardians so that the message can resonate that educating a child is a collective effort. Parents need to supervise their children’s homework, ensure that they attend school daily, on time and comport themselves with dignity. It is unacceptable for parents to shrug off their responsibility to ensure that their children are receiving appropriate education at school and in the home. And it is an abomination for educators who are entrusted with the care and education of fragile minds to cheat, lie, deceive and sexually molest innocent children.
All children can learn but it takes the entire community to ensure that result: Parents, the schools, educators, church, mentors and extended family members. In the meantime, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo successfully tied stringent teacher evaluations to the latest state budget, much to the chagrin of the teachers’ union. “The union is interested in protecting their interests but I’m concerned with the children,” the Governor said as he touted broad-based reforms. His focus and vision for public education is spot on!–OnPointPress.net.