The Inquirer is reporting tonight that the chickens are finally coming home to roost in the Philadelphia schools cheating scandal:
A criminal investigation of cheating on state tests is expected to lead to the arrests of teachers and other employees of the Philadelphia School District - including at least one principal - as the state Attorney General's Office brings charges of doctoring test results, The Inquirer has learned.
Let's be clear: While their higher-ups placed these teachers and principal between a rock and hard place -- commanded to improve test scores in schools that are starved of resources, in poverty-stricken neighborhoods where kids cope with hunger and crime just to make it to class -- the appropriate response was not cheating...it never is. Some punishment should be meted out, although from what's happened to so-called justice in America it's pretty safe to assume the punishment -- certainly the proposed punishment, anyway -- will greatly exceed the actual crimes.
What's worse, it's guaranteed that the real moral offenders will get off scot-free, since the biggest crime here is the system, the whole rotten-to-core standardized testing racket in this country. I'm talking about the pompous education commissioners (and the governors who appoint them) who think it's a great idea to replace days and days that could be dedicated to actual learning with the mindless rote memorization of "teaching to the test," the politicians who refuse to acknowledge a connection between well-prepared urban students and the anti-poverty programs they are decimating, the charlatans making millions of dollars off the testing racket, and the school administrators who pressured teachers to cheat and who then touted the results knowing full well that many of them were bogus.
Jail for them? Are you kidding? Their punishment will be high-priced consulting gigs and foundation posts. Is this a great country or what?
One more thing: If they didn't investigate cheating at this school -- run by Gov. Corbett's biggest campaign contributor -- then they weren't even serious.