Where are we taking our children?

school bus

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports widespread cheating, aided by teachers and administrators, on required tests in Atlanta schools.  Teachers who blow the whistle on cheating or other wrongdoing are subjected to retaliation.

The newspaper reviewed reports of the school district’s internal investigations and spoke with more than a dozen current and former Atlanta educators. The documents and the interviews describe a culture that punishes employees who report wrongdoing and rewards those who keep silent. Some whistle-blowers end up under scrutiny themselves. Others are subjected to questions about their mental health. Some lose their jobs. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jan. 21. 2011)

Similar problems exist in the business and government sectors, where corruption combined with whistleblower reprisals produced the Enron and mortgage industry meltdowns.  But, the problems are particularly egregious in the education sector because minds in their formative stage are being shaped to view cheating, corruption and reprisal as normal, accepted behavior.   If this generation carries that mindset into the workplace, the future for everyone will be bleak.

Photo (cc) by exfordy @ flickr

school bus