106 teachers may be fired in Miami-Dade for buying fake credentials

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by chydenius, Sep 1, 2005.

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  1. chydenius

    chydenius New Member

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-dteachers01sep01,0,4253330.story

    106 teachers may be fired in Miami-Dade for buying fake credentials
    by Ihosvani Rodriguez
    Miami Bureau, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
    September 1, 2005

    The head of Miami-Dade County Public Schools on Wednesday vowed to fire as many as 106 teachers named in an accreditation scandal in which teachers are accused of paying for fake credentials.

    Miami-Dade authorities released the names of the teachers suspected of being involved in the scam and the sworn statements some have given to prosecutors.

    The teachers are accused of paying for phony college credits to renew their teaching certificates or to get special endorsements in different subjects, officials said.

    Prosecutors have not filed any charges as authorities say they violated school district policy, said Ed Griffith, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office.

    School Superintendent Rudy Crew said during a news conference on Wednesday that his office has launched an investigation and will fire the teachers -- even though school is under way -- if district investigators substantiate the allegations.

    The announcement comes about a month and a half after a Miami-Dade grand jury indicted former teacher William McCoggle on charges of running an organized scheme to defraud. Authorities said McCoggle issued fake college credits and transcripts to teachers through Moving on Toward Education and Training.

    McCoggle, a longtime Palmetto Senior High School teacher who taught physical education for 22 years before retiring this summer, sold bogus credits from Eastern Oklahoma State College, investigators said. His company also had deals with at least four other universities, school officials said.

    Six teachers have come forward and told prosecutors that they paid for academic credits without ever taking any classes. School officials said most of the teachers avoided scrutiny by submitting their fake credentials directly to state officials and not to the local system.

    Crew asked the state's accrediting agency, the Florida Department of Education, to assist the investigation. The state agency has given some of the teachers a year to retake the courses they received credit for through the scheme. School officials acknowledged on Wednesday that the teachers have been given the option to resign.

    "As an educational enterprise, we will not tolerate people who devalue learning by using fraud to avoid it themselves," Crew said in a written statement.

    Records show that teachers on the list work throughout the county, both in affluent and impoverished neighborhoods. The subjects they teach range from science to driver education and include all grades.

    Some teachers began their careers as far back as 1968, while others have been with the system for a few years.
     
  2. Charles

    Charles New Member

  3. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Hang 'em high as Haman.
     
  4. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Good! Get dem pink slips all filled-out and get on with it, I say! :mad:
     
  5. deanhughson

    deanhughson New Member

  6. chydenius

    chydenius New Member

    corruption

    At the risk of veering off-topic here, this is the sort of thing that happens, when systems mandate inputs, rather than focusing solely on outputs.

    If accreditation were based on demonstrable mastery of some standardized measure, then it wouldn't matter how instruction took place, who taught, and what credentials teachers had.

    Instead, teachers have to complete this curriculum, in order to acquire that degree, and be sure to collect those continuing education units, so that they can maintain their licenses.

    This creates an incentive to create scams like Move On Toward Education and Training (MOTET).
     
  7. marilynd

    marilynd New Member

    Re: corruption

    One should never focus SOLELY on outputs. How silly.

    Nonsense. There would still have to be a procedure devised by which one could demonstrate that the "standardized measure" had been met, which would still leave open the door to falsification, or, to use your phrase, "create an incentive" to falsification.

    In other words, they have to demonstrate that they have met a certain standard set by the state. You assume that the process is somehow unconnected with the product. I suspect most professional educators, certainly those charged with setting state educational standards, would say that you assume too much.

    You know what? It doesn't matter whether there is an incentive created. We live in a world filled with different types of incentives. The issue here is not whether there were incentives. The issue was whether these individuals had the moral character to resist those incentives. Apparently, they did not. They should therefore pay whatever the social penalty is for their poor judgment in giving in to the incentive and attempting to defraud the citizenry they serve.

    To blame this incident on the creation of an incentive is to miss the point entirely.

    I shudder to think what lessons many students will learn from this behavior, students who already are attuned to seeking the shortest, quickest, easiest path to outcomes, no matter what that path might be.

    And attempts to excuse this behavior just makes the situation worse.

    marilynd
     
  8. marilynd

    marilynd New Member

    BTW, I like your Peter Drucker quotation.

    marilynd
     
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Re: Re: corruption

    One should never focus SOLELY on outputs. How silly.

    Why? If the outcome is what you wanted, and improper means weren't used to achieve it, what's the difference?

    Nonsense. There would still have to be a procedure devised by which one could demonstrate that the "standardized measure" had been met, which would still leave open the door to falsification, or, to use your phrase, "create an incentive" to falsification.

    Hmm, what I read in Chydenius's comment was similar to the idea of CLEP tests, in which instruction and evaluation are completely separated. All you have to do is make sure the test is fairly administered.

    In other words, they have to demonstrate that they have met a certain standard set by the state. You assume that the process is somehow unconnected with the product. I suspect most professional educators, certainly those charged with setting state educational standards, would say that you assume too much.

    Again, I think the point is that evaluation and instruction aren't the intertwined thing we often think they are. You shouldn't get credit for just taking the course, you should get credit for passing a monitored examination about its material.

    You know what? It doesn't matter whether there is an incentive created. We live in a world filled with different types of incentives. The issue here is not whether there were incentives. The issue was whether these individuals had the moral character to resist those incentives. Apparently, they did not. They should therefore pay whatever the social penalty is for their poor judgment in giving in to the incentive and attempting to defraud the citizenry they serve. To blame this incident on the creation of an incentive is to miss the point entirely.

    Actually, I think you're both right. Yes, people should be able to say no to themselves when it comes to malicious or fraudulent behavior, but at the same time when one designs a system, it's best to eliminate as many points of failure as possible, ethical or otherwise.

    I shudder to think what lessons many students will learn from this behavior, students who already are attuned to seeking the shortest, quickest, easiest path to outcomes, no matter what that path might be. And attempts to excuse this behavior just makes the situation worse.

    While I agree, I also can't help but think there's a South Florida joke in there somewhere.

    -=Steve=-
     
  10. chydenius

    chydenius New Member

    Re: Re: corruption

    What else should one focus on? If my daughter were learning German, all that would matter would be that she could demonstrate some minimum ability in German. Whether she learned it from her grandmother, a video course, or an EdD in Modern Language Education would not matter in the least.

    We call these "tests". :D

    You are correct that tests are imperfect. There is a branch of pedagogy dedicated to test design. There are competing schools of thought. However, a simple thought experiment can settle the matter.

    One can either stipulate inputs, or not; one can stipulate outputs, or not. This gives us four possibilities:

    - Stipulate inputs, stipulate outputs (i.e., use this curriculum and pass this test)

    - Stipulate inputs, do not stipulate outputs (i.e., use this curriculum and don't test)

    - Do not stipulate inputs, stipulate outputs (i.e., use whatever methodology you like and pass this test)

    - Do not stipulate inputs, do not stipulate outputs (i.e., use whatever methodology you like and don't test)

    Outcomes based education focuses on outputs. Whether or not the student 'did' his or her lessons is not as important as whether the student can demonstrate having learned.

    I do not accept your assertion that the state is the sole source of standardized measures. ACT and ETS do a reasonably good job of it, and they are private enterprises. Likewise, dissertation committee members are often not agents of the state (although, many seem to think that they are God).

    I agree with you that those charged with setting state educational standards have agendas that they use the system to promote. This is unfortunate, but unavoidable.

    As a professional educator, I do not assume that the process is wholly disconnected from the product. For example, I would not try to teach arithmetic by bouncing ping poing balls off a kitten. Probably, I would send the students to a Montessori school. Others would make the students fill out sheet after sheet of arithmetic problems. At the end of the day, all that would matter would be that the students could add, subtract, multiply, and divide.

    By what standard does one measure moral character? Your argument is akin to blaming the dog for eating the steak left unattended on the kitchen counter. Sure he should have known better, but a much more efficient solution would be to design a better system that achieves the same goal. The teachers in question were told to collect continuing education units; they collected continuing education units. Rather than beat them with a rolled-up newspaper, a more efficient solution would be to separate assessment from instruction.

    If the American public education system is so flawed that it requires teachers to be as moral as priests, in order for it to function properly, then no wonder it is such a laughingstock internationally.

    I disagree.

    I agree.
     
  11. chud

    chud New Member

    OK, after teaching 25 years, here are my thoughts:

    The ones to blame here are the course provider and the school system. The teaching staff look at the program; see that it meets their needs, and apply. The school system may review the program; see if it meets their needs, and approve it or not.

    If it is initially approved by the school system, it is not the teachers fault if it does not meet standands, it is the school systems.

    The teachers have participated in a program that was accepted. Shame on the school system for crying foul, when they did not check out the program appropiately!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2005
  12. chud

    chud New Member

    For example:

    If I apply to Saint Regis University (I didn't), and ask my school system if they will will accept the credits; and after they have been given the opportunity to check out the program, they choose to accept the credits, even after checking my portfolio/work done; am I really to blame????
     
  13. chud

    chud New Member

    It seems very simple. Teachers are not responsible for the quality of the program they participate in. The school system is solely responsible for the quality of programs that they choose to accept.

    If they (the school system) accept a program, and later find out (by fraud or otherwise) that it does not meet their criteria or needs, that is solely their problem.

    The teachers only tried to find a program ( ok, perhaps the course of least resistance) that fulfilled the requirements of the school system.

    Persecute the school system for not doing their job in making sure the requirements were met; not the teachers for completing a program that was accepted.....
     
  14. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Amen!
     
  15. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    The 106 teachers clearly took a program that was a fraud.
    Approved or not.
    Paying for phony college credits to renew their teaching certificates is fraud.

    Example:
    It's not OK to by fake green card only brcause emploer is doing bad job or closing his eyes and not validating the real status.

    Six teachers have come forward and told prosecutors that they paid for academic credits without ever taking any classes.

    "If they (the school system) accept a program, and later find out (by fraud or otherwise) that it does not meet their criteria or needs, that is solely their problem."

    Did you read the details?

    Eastern Oklahoma State College credits are still valid credits just like other colleges and universities.
    Authorities said McCoggle issued fake college credits and transcripts to teachers through Moving on Toward Education and Training.


    The Eastern Oklahoma State College and other colleges 3 or 4 - outsorsed some of its education to this operation.

    Maybe they used VAE in Florida :)

    To me based on what I read it looks like the teachers are co-conspirators and co-participants.

    There are teachers in that county that didnt cheat and took real CE classes to earn credits.

    Learner
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2005
  16. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Lerner (both of you!): I think the point here is that if the administrators were either too stupid or too lazy to notice that the program was a fraud and they approved it anyway, it is their own damn fault if their teachers teach the approved path of least resistance. The clear solution is to guillotine the administrators.
     
  17. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I disagree with your point.
    The teachers didn't select a less effortless rout, they selected
    a fraduant actions, conspired to degraud the system and are guilty.
    Now if you want to go after the Administration to, you can i don't know if they were aware that the credits from legitimate college were bogus.
    Maybe someone there was on a take, so it is posible that administration is guilty as well, but teachers are guity of fraud and conspiracy.

    Now they can use the defence that thay didn't know - like people who by diplomas from diploma mills.

    How more hipocritical this can be.

    The one and only Learner.
     
  18. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Clearly, someone in the human resource offices of the schools involved should have had the brains to know the difference between a legitimate school and an illegitimate school. But they didn't. Why not? Do we have to clone Rich Douglas many thousands of times over just in order that every school and every employer can have someone who knows about degrees and accreditation in their human resource office? Clearly, the HR people gave their blessings to the program and the teachers followed suit by taking the program. Now HR wants to guillotine all the teachers for their own screw-up. I maintain that the HR administrators are acting like a large pack of liars and hypocrites and should be guillotined themselves.
     
  19. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    I don't know about you but I've yet to see any college administration to be rated as highly competent. Clueless student aides are often the ones doing the work.
     
  20. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Well, if that's true, that's scary. But it is also another example of penny wise pound foolish employers getting what (little) they pay for when they should be figuring out how much it would actually cost to hire a person with an actual goddamn brain.
     

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