A fifth grade teacher is in hot water for helping students cheat on their exams. Even worse is the reason she gave for helping them. Shayla Smith says that she had no choice but to help the students cheat because they are (in her words) “dumb as hell.”
The teacher had to appear before a tribunal, which decided that she should be fired for her role in supporting student misconduct. Smith was once a teacher at Dobbs Elementary, and the board has not yet voted on whether or not to renew her contract.
Roughly 180 teachers in the Atlanta Public School system have been accused of cheating to get their students higher test scores. The corruption goes all the way to the top, with some teachers claiming that high-level administrators told them that giving students the answers to the test was the only way to comply with the demands from the No Child Left Behind policy of the Bush Administration.
Schajuan Jones, another instructor who worked with Smith, said that Smith was overheard talking about what she did with the kids.
“The words were, ‘I had to give your kids, or your students, the answers because they’re dumb as hell,’” Jones said. She claims she didn’t speak out earlier because she feared reproof or reprisal from the principal.
Smith accused Jones of being a liar, and Jones admitted that she doesn’t like Smith very much. But a student backed up Jones’ claim that Smith helped them cheat by stating that she gave the class answers to a test in the summer of 2010.
In addition to giving the students the answers, Smith is also accused of changing answers after students submitted their tests.