- A new report by Georgia State University researchers has found that the manipulation of test scores in the Atlanta cheating scandal has hurt reading and ELA performances of students down the road.
- The loss in ELA achievement is "one to two times the difference in achievement between having a rookie teacher rather than a teacher with five years of experience for a single year," the report writes.
- While the report concludes that the cheating had mixed results on math scores and no real effects on student behavior or attendance, it also indicates that the debacle compelled more families to leave Atlanta public schools for charter school districts.
While people often focus heavily on the details of a cheating scandal--Who did the erasing? How was it done?--the actual long-term effects can be ignored. This study helps to put things into perspective.
One big worry point was how the test scores would affect self-esteem. The study points out that consistent low grades (which probably were not doctored) would have offset any false feeling of accomplishment for the test scores.