Former APS Student: As for NAEP, it is safe to say that the scores show that in the mist of all the chaos, cheating and scandals, there was actually learning happening in Atlanta schools. Even though thousands of kids may have been affected by systematic cheating, tens of thousands benefited from some sense of accountability. I believe the majority of teachers taught the students. The students attending the Atlanta Public Schools now are probably the highest-performing students that have ever attended school in the system’s long history.
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Commenters on the AJC Get Schooled blog were largely skeptical of former Stanford education Dean Marshall S. Smith’s essay today noting Atlanta’s impressive gains on a respected federal test known as the Nation’s Report Card. While Smith says cheating on the NAEP tests is highly unlikely and the APS gains are credible, blog readers were dubious. Here is a sampling of their comments: