APS Cheating Scandal Racketeering Verdict: Who Set Up the Racket? (Opinion)

by Janita Poe/@AtlantaPolitics

ATLANTA — Eleven Atlanta Public Schools educators, now convicted felons, were hauled off to paddy wagons yesterday, after the verdict in a test cheating scandal was read about 2 p.m.

The defendants were found guilty of racketeering — a crime tied to the bloody mobster era of the previous century that suggests a systematic “racket” to make money off of innocent citizens.

So, my question today is this: Who set up the racket?

Who created “No Child Left Behind” and the government-backed financial incentives to produce the high test scores?

Who pressured these educators to achieve success with some of society’s most economically and socially challenged youth, “by any means necessary?”

But, wait. That’s not all.

Who left poor kids behind in a rush to the suburbs in search of “better” schools for their own children?

Who turned the other cheek and handed off public education’s most complex challenges to the least-prepared, least-qualified teachers and academic leaders?

Folks. This country and it’s racist, classist, egomaniacal underpinnings is in need of some self analysis.

Because what happened in that courtroom yesterday did not change a durn thing for the education of youth in our lowest-income communities.

And nothing will change unless and until we Americans– all races, both genders — stop pointing the finger and seriously commit ourselves to helping the least of these.

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