Giving Compass' Take:

• Shani Robinson writes for YES! Magazine to speak about her first hand experience of the public school cheating scandal in Atlanta, the underlying issues and what it can teach for the future.  

• What are nonprofit initiatives doing to close the alarming disparity in test score performances? How can we stop another public school cheating scandal from occurring?

Here's how personalized learning can lead to educational equity.

On April Fool’s Day, in 2015, I found myself in an unthinkable position. I was a 30-year-old Teach for America alum, former counselor, newlywed mom-to-be. And I was a convicted felon facing 25 years in prison for something I didn’t do.

For two years I had lived under the shadow of RICO. Otherwise known as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, RICO was designed in the 1970s to target the American mafia. But in 2013, RICO was applied to an unlikely group: the educators of Atlanta Public Schools. Including me.

At issue were the district’s scores on a Georgia standardized test called the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test, or CRCT. In 2008, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigated suspiciously high score increases on CRCT retests in several school districts, including Atlanta. This prompted a state agency to conduct an audit of CRCT scores in 2009, analyzing the number of wrong-to-right erasures on students’ test booklets and finding a high likelihood that cheating had occurred in dozens of school districts across the state.

Read the full article about the Atlanta public school cheating scandal by Shani Robinson at YES! Magazine