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Alonso gets an A+ for handling cheating

In Baltimore, schools CEO Andrés Alonso put in place extensive measures to ensure that cheating is not possible ("Cheating, tampering found at 2 schools," June 23). He suspected cheating and referred schools to the state. Then, when there was indication that tests may have been tampered with, he announced the investigation and findings to the public and the press — no digging needed by the press, no denials.

In stark and notable contrast, this week it was reported that the Atlanta superintendent first ordered her staff to edit out negative findings from a cheating investigation and later ordered the destruction of documents that detailed "systematic" cheating on standardized tests. Earlier this year, USA Today obtained and reported on evidence of cheating in a Washington, D.C. school, and the report was publicly dismissed by the superintendent.

Why the difference? Baltimore City schools' actions might be "risky" if one wants to protect adults and avoid embarrassment. But they are the right steps forward to do what's best for kids, and if you value integrity. Now we know more about how students are doing and that the system is serious about making real progress. Schools, parents and the system need to work on improvements based on a clear picture. Mr. Alonso gets an A+.

Carol Beck, Baltimore

The writer is the parent of three Baltimore City Public Schools students.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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