The Shameful Educators of Atlanta

It’s bad enough when sports figures and actors turn out to be sad excuses for role models… but it’s completely something else when it turns out to be our teachers. So, the unfolding story out of Atlanta Georgia is particularly shameful.

In excess of 178 teachers and principals, and perhaps Superintendents, are being accused of cheating and tampering with test scores of elementary and middle school students in order to continue receiving funding under the No Child Left Behind Act.  The educators (I use the term loosely) actually held “cheating parties” where they got together after school hours and doctored the tests by erasing wrong answers and substituting correct ones.

I think Congress needs to pass a supplemental act titled “Leave Corrupt Teachers Behind.”  While it’s a tongue-in-cheek statement, I do think that the complete breakdown of ethics in our society has reached a dangerous level when those responsible for molding the minds of the future exhibit such reprehensible behavior evidencing a complete lack of conscience.

What were they thinking?  Obviously something similar to what the teachers in Wisconsin were thinking when they marched before the State House picketing the Governor’s budget plan which included prohibiting teachers from collective bargaining practices. Those teachers encouraged their students to have their parents or doctors write fraudulent absence notes to their schools so the students could picket alongside the teachers.  Most of the students I saw interviewed didn’t even know what they were picketing for… but were delighted it had gotten them out of school!

In this most recent and troubling example of the ethical and moral “pit of despair”in which this nation finds itself, let us each personally vow to begin to make own lives a breeding ground for truthfulness, integrity and ethical example.

When Moses and the Israelites were standing seemingly trapped at the Reed (Red) Sea, Moses plead to God for help. The unsung hero of that moment was Nahshon, Israelite brother-in-law of Aaron, who took the first step into the waters and continued head deep before they parted.

We are at such a moment in our ethical lives.  Be a Nahshon in your own.  Walk into this culture of deceit, up to your head if necessary, with faith that doing the right thing will bring the highest outcome… or at least model something worth emulating.

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