I've refrained from saying much about the Atlanta cheating scandal for two main reasons. One, Atlanta's role -- or what Atlanta signifies -- is highly ambiguous to me. Does it implicate the "reformers" (within the district) the "status quo" players or both? I have no idea. Two, I have no sympathy for people who went along with this on the micro level, but on the macro level, I say, "Of course, what did anyone expect?"
But consider this: teaching in a high poverty urban school is a rigged game, and it ain't rigged in your favor. No business would ever use something like AYP to measure their own performance (e.g., we'll declare the year a failure in the annual report if we miss our projections in a single division by one point, no matter what kind of year we have in the business as a whole). So over time, you're going to lose people who are simply unwilling to put up with it, and gain whatever kind of people are willing to play a game rigged against them. What kind of people do you think willingly embrace that?
What kind of people play a rigged game? - oblivious (or substitute your favorite word here about less-than-intelligent) or desperate, possibly shades of both.
Ironically, it happens in school leadership situations where the organization is a total mess (but oblivious doesn't know it, and desperate doesn't care). And, by mess, I don't mean poor and urban.
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