Atlanta Journal Editorial
- Subject: Atlanta Journal Editorial
- From: William Cala <wcala@ROCHESTER.RR.COM>
- Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 20:40:35 -0500
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
And another effort to come to the aid of a fighter:
"Teacher Awaits Word on License in the March 16th AJC reports on the licensure decision awaiting Gwinett County teacher James Hope for posting 6 Gateway questions on the Internet. James made a very difficult choice some 2 years ago. He was faced with an impossible dilemma: Sign the document that prohibits sharing ANYTHING about the Gateway or refuse to sign the document because it would prevent him from uncovering any and all egregious errors, omissions or shortcomings of the Gateway test (produced by McGraw-Hill). Either decision paints a person of integrity into a corner. The former decision silences dissent effectively. Say anything and you go to jail. The latter is grounds for insubordination that effectively leads to the demise of his job.
James could have remained quiet. He could have lived up to the imposed bargain he was effectively forced to sign. To do that, however, would mean that he would have to live with the conscience of knowing the documented negative consequences of this specific high-stakes test. He would have to live with the fact that he did nothing to correct a wrong that would not only hurt his own students, but all students taking the Gateway in Gwinett. McGraw-Hill's national record of testing errors is public, clear and unfortunately prolific.
Here in New York, we have been under the same strictures of the McGraw-Hill secrecy machine. I have read, studied and even taken their 4th and 8th grade standardized tests. We have been forced into silence by McGraw-Hill's and the state's regulations. Sunshine on these tests would expose their ubiquitous shortcomings and flaws.
I could have done exactly what James Hope did instead of remaining silent. I did not have the courage. James Hope is the one who did the right thing, not I. I will have to live with my decision, James' conscience is clear. He is my hero.
William C. Cala, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Fairport Central Schools
38 West Church Street
Fairport, NY 14450
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