one child left behind
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Attorney LaDawn Jones appears on rapper T.I.'s expediTIously podcast
Listen as they discuss Cheated, One Child, the cheating scandal, and American education!
Cheating but not Cheated
I could not believe that District Attorney Howard indicted the case under the RICO Act because I had always in my life looked up to him. Whether I liked his decisions on cases or not, I still had a great amount of respect for him. Inasmuch as I understood him to be a fair man, when he indicted educators as racketeers, I knew then that the possibility of me working with DA Howard was limited. I felt that the he did not see us as human beings trying to do good things in a difficult situation, but rather he saw us as gangsters and mobsters. I began to lose respect for a man that I had looked up to, the man who had helped my family with a major case after my goddaughter’s death. I may have been able to accept criminal misdemeanor charges under the circumstances, but I really couldn’t grasp the fact that DA Howard, whom I had respected, saw educators as racketeers.
The Atlanta Public School's cheating scandal is a case study for school districts, educators, and students in education, journalism, and ethics. The five year ordeal, which culminated in a seven month trial, was a matter of international scandal all kicked off by a newspaper investigation. Cheating But Not Cheated gives readers the details of the matter from an insider's point of view. Christopher Waller was held out by the APS superintendent, and later the media, as the "poster child" of the cheating scandal.
A review of the investigation and trial through the eyes of Christopher Waller, highlights how socio-economics, an over emphasis on testing, and passion for not being at the bottom of the pack led to the cheating scandal. Cheating is a lesson in leadership, integrity, morale, and community involvement. Readers, policy makers, and educators cannot know the full story of the testing scandal until they have heard from those who experienced it first hand. Cheating reveals the perspective that must be understood to prevent future school cheating scandals.
Cheating but not Cheated
The culture of the families and student issues were not the only differences. It’s important to note that the culture as an employee and a professional was different as well. I remember sitting in principals’ meetings watching principals pass around Xanax and other prescribed medications in APS. I was floored when I saw it. I was new to the district. They were so open about it that they offered me some. I’m a drug phobic. I’m afraid of what the smallest Tylenol would do to me, so I never messed with any drugs. I quickly said no, but as I continued to work in the district, I began to understand why they used drugs. The culture was that toxic. People under pressure were trying to find ways to relieve themselves, which was their coping mechanism. It was real.