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Here’s A List Of Cities Hit By Riots In The Last 3 Months

Since late May, numerous cities have faced violent rioting, which has included clashes with police, buildings destroyed by fire, and widespread vandalism.

Minneapolis was the first city to devolve into violence. Peaceful protests followed the May 25 death of George Floyd, who died after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. But soon after, peaceful demonstrations gave way to looting, destruction and arson.

The riots were not contained to any specific region in the U.S. and spread quickly to dozens of major American cities, which each experienced varying degrees of violence.

Atlanta: Atlanta was under a state of emergency in early July, with 1,000 National Guard troops activated to protect state buildings following violent riots prompted by the deaths of George Floyd and then of Rayshard Brooks, who was shot and killed by police in Atlanta.

Boston: Riots and looting broke out in Boston following the death of George Floyd in late May and early June, and included police vehicles being set ablaze, according to Boston 25.

Chicago: More than 100 people were arrested and more than a dozen officers injured amid the looting and rioting in Chicago in early August, which targeted high-end stores. Hundreds of people descended on parts of Chicago after officers reportedly shot Latrell Allen, 20, who was accused of having a gun.

Police shot the suspect following a shootout and the man was taken to a hospital. False information circulated on social media regarding the incident, including a claim that the suspect was 15 years old.

Days later, a group of Chicago City Council members requested that Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker immediately declare a state of emergency in Chicago and deploy the National Guard in light of ongoing rioting and looting in the city. 

Dallas: Numerous businesses were looted and vandalized after peaceful protests in Dallas following the death of George Floyd. Rioters jumped on police cars and began to destroy it, according to Biz Journals. Rioters also slashed tires and broke windows of squad cars.

Denver: Rioters threw fireworks at Denver police officers and started fires after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday, although riots and protesting had been active for months after the death of George Floyd. At least a dozen people were arrested in Denver Saturday night after rioters vandalized businesses and clashed with police officers. Some rioters set fire to trees and an American flag, while others broke windows and threw fireworks at officers, 9 News reported.

More riots and protests could follow, as Aug. 24 marks the anniversary of Elijah McClain’s arrest, a 23-year-old who died after a deadly encounter with police in 2019.

Detroit: Days after the death of George Floyd, rioters clashed with police in Detroit, throwing small bricks, M-80 fireworks and rocks, while protesters held signs that they wanted police to die, according to Detroit News. Dozens of protesters and rioters, many of them from the suburbs, were arrested.

Houston: Police made 200 arrests in late May during riots and protests. Rioters hurled objects and injured police officers and damaged patrol cars, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Los Angeles: Of the more than 4,400 arrests made at protests and riots in late May, the majority of arrests occurred in Los Angeles, where a special task force was developed to investigate crimes committed during the George Floyd demonstrations. Crimes included attempted murders of officers, looting, burglary, robbery, vandalism, arson and assaults with deadly weapons, according to ABC 7.

Minneapolis: The epicenter of the rioting and the scene of where George Floyd was killed descended into chaos immediately after demonstrations following Floyd’s death May 25. Hundreds of buildings were damaged, many of which were looted, set ablaze and destroyed. The Minneapolis Police’s 3rd Precinct was also destroyed. In St. Paul, more than 50 businesses were vandalized and destroyed.

New York City: Hundreds of people were arrested in early June following riots in New York City, where a curfew was also set after widespread vandalism and attacks on police and businesses. A corporate attorney who graduated from an Ivy League school along with another attorney were accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail at an NYPD vehicle as the violence in New York City escalated into clashes between police and protesters.

Phoenix: More than 300 adults and over 10 minors were arrested in Phoenix on charges of rioting, unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct and curfew violation in early June. Rioters reportedly threw rocks and bottles at police, and the National Guard was activated to aid police, according to KTAR.

Portland: While there were peaceful demonstrations in Portland, the city also became a hotbed for unrest, where the rioters set fire to a police union building in August. At least 13 riots were declared since late May, and the violence has included fires and vandalized property. Rioters then began throwing chunks of ceramic, rocks and glass bottles toward the officers, while others pointed green lasers — which are capable of causing permanent eye damage — at officers. At least one balloon filled with feces was thrown at officers on the roof of the building,

A riot, as defined by the Portland Police, is when six or more people engage in violent behavior and risk causing harm to others, per the same report.

Richmond: Riots gripped Richmond in early June, where a federal courthouse in Richmond, Virginia, was vandalized with a mark indicating it had been designated as a “target for potential vandalism/arson” by antifa, according to an FBI Situational Information Report obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. Associates of a local anarchist/ANTIFA group were reportedly overheard discussing burning down the Richmond courthouse. Rioters also tried to block a fire truck from reaching a burning building with a child inside in Richmond.

Seattle: Rioting in Seattle began in May immediately after the death of George Floyd. Several cars were set on fire, and businesses were looted or damaged. Incendiary devices including Molotov cocktails were reportedly thrown during the protests, police said according to KING 5. A curfew was set and a civil emergency proclamation was issued. Months later, a half-dozen officers were injured and 18 people were arrested at a Seattle riot after demonstrators hurled explosives at police in August.

St. Louis: Rioters damaged at least one police van in early June and looted local businesses after peaceful protesters earlier the same day in June, and several fireworks were thrown at police officers during riots in St. Louis, according to KSDK. Police reported that 55 buildings had been broken into or looted throughout the day June 1.

Washington, D.C.: Violent rioting in the nation’s capitol included clashes with police, looting, and a fire set at the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, along with other fires set near the White House. Rioting continued in August, and 41 people were arrested amid Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, D.C. The arrests came as a result of fires set intentionally as well as destroyed property, the 3D watch commander said according to WJLA.

COLUMN BY

MARLO SAFI

Culture reporter.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Calls Looting, Riots In Chicago ‘Planned Attacks’

‘There’s Just No Words’: Cleanup In Kenosha, Wisconsin, Continues Following Monday Riot

‘He Wants Riots’: Tucker Carlson Rips Wisconsin Governor, AG For Refusing To Say If Jacob Blake Was Armed

Man Pulls Gun On Reporter During Kenosha Riots, Reportedly While Describing What He Would Do To Cops

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Georgia Governor: No thanks to Syrians, we have enough refugees!

Back in 2013, when I attended an Office of Refugee Resettlement meeting in Lancaster, PA, government officials identified Georgia as having a‘pocket of resistance’ because the Republican Governor, Nathan Deal, had asked the feds to stop sending so many, that Georgia was overloaded.  So it is no surprise that Gov. Deal is saying the same thing today.  (And, it looks like his appeal to the US State Department fell on deaf ears!)

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Gov. Nathan Deal’s administration doesn’t want to see the number of refugees resettling in Georgia increase, despite pleas from humanitarian officials urging the U.S. to take in substantially more Syrians fleeing their war-torn country.

In an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday, Deal urged a cautious approach to the desperate refugee crisis unfolding across the Mediterranean Sea and Europe. The governor repeated his assertion – disputed by some advocates – that Georgia takes in more than its fair share of refugees.

[….]

Deal’s administration confirmed Tuesday it has asked the State Department to keep the number of refugees resettling in the Peach State “static” going into the next fiscal year.

“We will be welcoming,” Deal told the AJC. “But we want to make sure we’re not taking a disproportionately large share of them compared to other parts of the country.”

This is very interesting considering Reed has been promoting Atlanta as a welcoming city.

Deal’s wary approach to the escalating crisis was echoed by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, typically one of the region’s most forceful advocates of a welcoming policy to immigrants and refugees. He said he needed more time to evaluate the city’s position and that he would likely follow the lead of the Obama administration, which is weighing its options.

“I’m not going to get ahead of the federal government with regards to the Syrian refugee crisis,” he said.

[….]

The Deal administration has previously called on the U.S. State Department to sharply reduce the numbers of refugees being resettled in Georgia, citing state and local taxpayer costs associated with taking in the refugees, school budget shortfalls and other concerns.

Local resettlement agencies have long pushed back, beyond arguing that Georgia has a moral obligation to embrace refugees. They say refugees attract millions of dollars in federal aid money, form a ready pool of eager employees and ultimately create businesses and pay taxes.

LOL! A reduction of 16 refugees sure doesn’t sound like a reduction to me!

Last year, the U.S. State Department confirmed it had limited the number of all refugees coming to Georgia, based partly on the Deal administration’s concerns. The number of refugees who have been resettling in Georgia dropped by less than 1 percent over the past two fiscal years, from 2,710 to 2,694.

Deal is right here.  The resettlement contractors put “natural enemies” together in some cities expecting (naively?) that the mythical magic melting pot will do its work and the lion will lay down with the lamb or some such foolishness!

“When they decide where they bring in individuals,” Deal said, “they need to do a better job of making sure they haven’t put an over-concentration of people from different countries, some of whom have been natural enemies of each other. Trying to put them side-by-side in a small community like Clarkston is not doing a service to those individuals.”

EndNote:  I don’t know whatever happened with Athens, GA where the mayor (a Democrat) wanted answers from the feds before she put a stamp of approval on a refugee program for Athens.  Does anyone know whatever happened? Did the contractor, the International Refugee Committee, set up shop there?

RELATED ARTICLES:

Senator Lindsey Graham: we need to bring in our “fair share” of Syrian Muslims

Trump reverses himself on Syrian refugee question, says we have too many problems of our own!

Germany: ISIS fighter caught posing as asylum seeker

2016 GOP Hopefuls Set To Speak At Salem Media Group’s RedState Gathering In August

CAMARILLO, Calif./PRNewswire/ — Erick Erickson, Editor-in-Chief of Salem Media Group’s (NASDAQ: SALM) RedState.com, announced on Tuesday the first speaker lineup for the 2015 RedState Gathering. Governor Scott Walker, Governor Jeb Bush, Governor Rick Perry, Governor Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina and Senator Marco Rubio have all confirmed they will speak at the event.

In a slight change of tradition, this year’s RedState Gathering will be themed “Vision 2020.”

“Though I am loathe to ever suggest a topic for speakers, I have asked each of the 2016 candidates to focus on one thing: I’d like them to present their 2020 vision for what the nation should look like after their first four years,” Erickson said. “We need to know what they see as the areas that need fixing and how their fixes will reshape the country.

Jonathan Garthwaite, Salem Vice President and General Manager of Townhall Media (under which RedState operates) said, “RedState Gathering attendees are some of the hardest working conservative activists online and door-to-door who have pushed hundreds of conservative candidates to the top. There is no better place than the Gathering for the presidential candidates to come to and give their vision for America.”

The RedState Gathering will take place at the Intercontinental Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, August 6-9, 2015. In addition to a majority of the GOP presidential field, invitations have also been extended to members of Congress and other local and state elected officials. The weekend will kick-off on Thursday with a discussion between Erick Ericksonr and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and wind down with a new event on Saturday evening called the RedState Tailgate, featuring a surprise guest speaker.

Registrations to attend the RedState Gathering are currently open. To register or for additional information, please visit RedStateGathering.com. The early bird registration fee of $249 expires May 23rd.

ABOUT SALEM MEDIA GROUP:

Salem Media Group is America’s leading Christian and conservative multi-media corporation, with media properties comprising radio, digital media and book, magazine and newsletter publishing.  Each day Salem serves a loyal and dedicated audience of listeners and readers numbering in the millions nationally.  With its unique programming focus, Salem provides compelling content, fresh commentary and relevant information from some of the most respected figures across the media landscape.

The company, through its Salem Radio Group, is the largest commercial U.S. radio broadcasting company providing Christian and conservative programming.  Salem owns and operates 110 local radio stations, with 65 stations in the top 25 media markets.  Salem Radio Network (“SRN”) is a full-service national radio network, with nationally syndicated programs comprising Christian teaching and talk, conservative talk, news, and music.  SRN is home to many industry-leading hosts including: Bill BennettMike GallagherHugh HewittMichael MedvedDennis Prager and Eric Metaxas.

Salem New Media is a powerful source of Christian and conservative themed news, analysis, and commentary.  Salem’s Christian sites include: Christianity.com®, BibleStudyTools.comGodTube.comGodVine.com,WorshipHouseMedia.com and OnePlace.com. Considered by many to be a consolidation of the conservative news and opinion sector’s most influential brands, Salem’s conservative sites include Red State.comTownhall.com®, HotAir.comTwitchy.com,  BearingArms.com and Human Events.com .

Salem’s Regnery Publishing unit, with a 65-year history, remains the nation’s leading publisher of conservative books.  Having published many of the seminal works of the early conservative movement, Regnery today continues as the dominant publisher in the conservative space, with leading authors including: Ann Coulter, Dinesh D’Souza, Newt Gingrich, David Limbaugh, Ed Klein and Mark Steyn. Salem’s book publishing business also includes Xulon Press™, a leading provider of self-publishing services for Christian and conservative authors.

Salem Publishing™ publishes Christian and conservative magazines including Homecoming®, YouthWorker Journal™, The Singing News, and Preaching.

Salem Media Group also owns Eagle Financial Publications and Eagle Wellness. Eagle Financial Publications provide market analysis and specific investment advice for individual investors from financial commentators Mark SkousenNicholas VardyChris VersaceBryan Perry and Doug Fabian. Eagle Wellness provides practical health advice and is a trusted source for nutritional supplements from one of the country’s leading complementary health physicians.

RELATED VIDEO: A new poll in New Hampshire puts Rand Paul and Scott Walker in first place among GOP candidates in the Granite State. Hillary Clinton still leads among Democrats, but she is showing some weakness. Hear why.

Florida and Georgia: A Tale of Test Cheating Scandals in Two States

Disparity: Convictions in Atlanta, Impunity in Miami-Dade Schools.

On Wednesday, an Atlanta jury convicted 11 teachers on racketeering charges, with mixed verdicts on theft and false statement charges, in connection with the massive test cheating scandal in the Atlanta Public Schools.

The defendants, including teachers, a principal and other administrators, were accused of falsifying and altering test results to collect bonuses (incentive funds) and/or to keep their jobs.

One teacher was acquitted and 21 others took plea deals. The 35 educators were indicted in March 2013 by a grand jury.

Prosecutors claimed and successfully argued that the educators conspired to cheat on standardized tests as far back as 2005 after feeling pressure from school district officials to meet federal and local testing standards.

The educators said the pressure came from their supervisors, including former Superintendent Beverly Hall, who died of breast cancer last month.

Hall, who was superintendent for more than a decade, and her lawyer had argued she was too sick to stand trial.

In their report, investigators wrote that Hall “created a culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation” that allowed cheating to go on for years.

Hall maintained that she hadn’t done anything wrong, but resigned during the investigation.

Jurors deliberated for more than eight days. The racketeering charges could carry up to a 20-year prison sentence, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Sentencing is scheduled for April 8, 2015.

This is a huge story and absolutely the biggest development in American education law since forever,” said University of Georgia law professor Ron Carlson. “It has to send a message to educators here and broadly across the nation. Playing with student test scores is very, very dangerous business.”

Logically, Mr. Carlson seems correct as the former Superintendent of El Paso, Texas schools, Lorenzo Garcia, was sent to federal prison, and five teachers and four principals were arrested in Philadelphia over the past year for test cheating with more arrests expected.

Yet, logic is being defied in Miami-Dade County, Florida, as citizen journalist and school library media specialist Trevor Colestock uncovered a massive test cheating scandal, Adobegate, at Miami Norland Senior High School; his findings verified by the Final Miami-Dade OIG Report; and the strange firing of one teacher and suspension of the other who was equally involved.

Mrs. Muchnick returned to Norland High in early January 2014.

To date, the teachers involved, Mr. Emmanuel Fleurantin and Mrs. Brenda Muchnick, were never arrested, charged, booked, and/or prosecuted as the State Attorney, the Florida Attorney General, and Governor Rick Scott refused to acknowledge this massive test cheating scandal and the almost $250,000 paid out through federal and state incentives to the faculty for an “A” grade for the 2011-12 school year tainted by cheating.

Each teacher at Miami Norland Senior High School received $1730.41.

Though the teachers got paid, the big winners from Norland’s academic successes tainted by cheating were school and district administrators: Reginald Lee went from being an assistant principal over the vocational department in which the cheating took place to the principal of Charles Drew Middle School and then Norland in November 2012; Luis Solano went from being the principal at Norland to the Associate Superintendent, Curriculum & Instruction at Collier County Public Schools in Naples; Nikolai Vitti went from being the Assistant Superintendent of the Education Transformation Office (ETO) at M-DCPS to the Chief Academic Officer of M-DCPS and then became the Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville; and Superintendent Alberto Carvalho became the Florida and National Superintendent of the Year shortly thereafter.

Also, the Florida Department of Education recently released information that revealed that Miami Norland SHS had 96 FCAT/EOC test invalidations over the past three school years.

Interestingly, 25 other public schools, all high schools, had more test invalidations that Norland, with 20 of the schools being in Miami-Dade, most of them in the Education Transformation Office.

The breakdown for the 26 schools, all high schools, in the graphic: 21 from Miami-Dade (96 at Norland-275 invalidations at North Miami Senior); 2 from Broward (97, 134 invalidations); 2 from Palm Beach (99, 100 invalidations); and 1 from Duval (110 invalidations).

For more information on how this information was obtained, please read pages 38-40 of the Test Score Validation Process manual proffered by Pearson.

Furthermore, the FBI declined to investigate as they deferred to the USDOE OIG who dismissed Colestock’s complaints and took no action.

Simply put, Florida and federal officials, unlike former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, passed the buck.

Perhaps politics played a part as Florida is, and has been, the epicenter of standardized testing since instituting the first high school graduation test in 1976, and reports of test cheating undermine the politics and profitability of standardized testing.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush, a Common Core and standardized test proponent, is in lock-step with President Barack Obama on these issues.

During his tenure as Florida governor, Bush expanded testing significantly, with lucrative contracts for testing and scoring going to Pearson, while creating the school grading system through his A+ Plan.

Beverly Hall served as the Atlanta Public Schools superintendent for more than a decade and was named Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators in 2009. She was credited with raising student test scores and graduation rates, particularly among poor and minority students.

However, the award quickly lost its luster and was tarnished as the cheating scandal began to unfold when The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that some scores were statistically improbable.

Likewise, Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho was named the state and national Superintendent of the Year over the past year and lauded for the same accomplishments in test scores and graduation rates.

Could it be that Adobegate and high number of test invalidations on the FCAT and/or EOC exams over the past three school years went unanswered and unpunished to protect standardized testing and spare Mr. Carvalho, who like Beverly Hall is close to President Obama, from going down in flames like Ms. Hall and Mr. Garcia by the state and federal governments respectively?

A reasonable person may assume that Miami-Dade County Public Schools “created a culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation” when it chose to transfer and retaliate against Mr. Colestock for reporting, exposing, and publishing articles about the test cheating while returning Mrs. Muchnick to Norland and never seeking her or Mr. Fleurantin’s prosecution.

The implied message to teachers in Miami-Dade seems to be “keep your mouth shut about test cheating lest you want to end up like Mr. Colestock.”

The lack of inaction by the federal and state governments seem to condone M-DCPS’s actions and test cheating in general.

Like Atlanta, the victims in Miami-Dade County, Florida, besides the taxpayer, are low-income minority (mostly black) school children who are being denied the remedial help they need as false and misleading test scores suggest otherwise.

Where are the talking heads and advocacy groups who decry events in Brooklyn and Ferguson when it comes to test cheating in Atlanta and Miami? Why are they silent on these issues?

Question: Why is Florida rewarding test cheaters while Georgia, Texas and Pennsylvania are punishing test cheaters?

RELATED ARTICLE: Whistleblower Principal, Adell Cothorne, on the Atlanta Cheating Verdict

Whistleblower Principal, Adell Cothorne, on the Atlanta Cheating Verdict

It may have happened in April Fools Day, but it was certainly no joke.

On April 1, 2015, 11 Atlanta educators were convicted of racketeering related to their roles in what has come to be widely known as “the Atlanta cheating scandal.” I first read of the verdict in the New York Times:

…A jury here (in Atlanta) on Wednesday convicted 11 educators for their roles in a standardized test cheating scandal that tarnished a major school district’s reputation and raised broader questions about the role of high-stakes testing in American schools.

On their eighth day of deliberations, the jurors convicted 11 of the 12 defendants of racketeering, a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison. Many of the defendants — a mixture of Atlanta public school teachers, testing coordinators and administrators — were also convicted of other charges, such as making false statements, that could add years to their sentences.

The New York Times article linked above also refers to the Atlanta cheating scandal as, “what has been described as the largest cheating scandal in the nation’s history.”

I’m not so sure about that.

I think the under-investigated, test score “erasure” situation during former DC chancellor Michelle Rhee could top the Atlanta cheating scandal– if the situation is ever properly investigated.

In my book, A Chronicle of Echoes, I offer a detailed discussion of the events surrounding Rhee’s questionable test score gains, including the shallow “investigation” into erasures and the test score plummet that occurred once Rhee was no longer DC chancellor.

I also discuss the involvement of former DC principal, Adell Cothorne, who refused to keep silent when she encountered DC teachers altering student test documents and who demanded heightened security for her school’s tests.

On April 2, 2015, I asked Cothorne if she would weigh in on the Atlanta verdict.

She agreed.

The remainder of this post is Cothorne’s initial reaction to the Atlanta verdict. I have invited her to expand upon her initial reaction once she has had some more time to ponder the situation, so stay tuned.

Adell Cothorne

Adell Cothorne

On April 1, 2015, 11 Atlanta educators were indicted in a cheating scandal that has captured public attention for the last three years. One of the defendants called the judge’s decision to have the educators immediately sent to jail “unnecessary and vindictive”. Many argue – via social media – that the judge was too harsh and only handed down such a stern decision because the defendants were African-American.

There will be many people who weigh in during the next few days, weeks, and even years about what this verdict means. Some pundits will have had zero experience in education but feel they can wax poetic about the virtues of merit pay, testing, and the “plight” of educating urban children.

Let me take a moment to deliver a brief synopsis of mycredentials:

  • I have been an educator for over 20 years and spent the bulk of my ACTUAL classroom and administrative experience in elementary (Kindergarten – 5th grade) and Kindergarten – 8th grade (K – 8) settings
  • My Masters in Administration and Supervision was earned at Johns Hopkins University and I am currently in the process of completing my doctorate
  • Recently, I worked for a Harvard project based in Baltimore City supporting various schools and school stakeholders
  • Most importantly, I am the FORMER District of Columbia (DC) principal who uncovered a cheating scandal and made the decision to file a whistleblower’s lawsuit against DC Public schools.

So when I tell you I have the experience and expertise to respond to the Atlanta verdict, it is not by happenstance.

I agree with Judge Jerry Baxter – these people are convicted felons and should be treated as such.

Do I condone what they did in reference to manipulating students’ tests? No I do not – in any way, shape, or form.

Do I understand why they participated in these egregious acts? I do!

Society as a whole has turned a blind eye to the incessant destruction of public education. Pretty much the way we ignored union bustingand the corporate takeover of teaching hospitals– we have ignored the dismantling of public school systems. All too often, the collective “we” trust that those with the “expertise” make the most logical decision based on the “good of the group.” Education reform (and everything that comes along with it) has illustrated that there is only one thing considered when a society-altering decision is made – money!

A large component of education reform is merit pay. Many feel that merit pay is a fair way to reward teachers. Merit-pay isn’t really about rewarding teachers who teach effectively and increase student achievement. Merit pay is holistically about creating a mechanism to prove teachers aren’t teaching effectively. Why, you ask? A teacher who is proven ineffective can be terminated and not receive a pension. Not allowing as many people to receive pensions is a real money saver for those persons in powerful (and financially wealthy) positions. I won’t go on too much about merit pay here. I’ve written about how merit pay is calculated in one school district in another piece.

I believe many were coerced into changing student test answers. I have firsthand knowledge and experience of being bullied, harassed and professionally threatened. It is not an easy situation. Yet, at the end of the day I could not become complicit in acts that robbed hundreds of children of opportunity. The test scores did not match the student ability I observed. I had eighth-grade students in my building who could not compose a paragraph. Some of these eighth-grade students were 15 years old!

In my time as a DC principal, I had staff members who not only could not deliver effective instruction but were actuallyphysically and emotionally abusive to students. Yet these staff members did not fear retribution because they felt protected by certain DCPS executive staff members. My reprimands and written admonishments fell on deaf ears.

My frustration in trying to do right by my students in DC brings me to the issue of the former Atlanta school superintendent Beverly Hall denying she had any knowledge of cheating. I can say with complete confidence – that was a lie! Anyone in education knows that the current state of affairs in education, with its “data-driven reform,” calls for all school stakeholders (specifically teachers, administrators and central office staff) to look at student data on a regular basis (at least monthly). This data many times is all-inclusive and ranges from attendance to achievement to how many students receive free and reduced meals.

As a former administrator, I was taught (as many of my counterparts were) to question any huge gains in data. A huge gain is usually equivalent to a score increase of 7 percent or more. So even though Ms. Hall may not have given a directmandate for schools to improve scores by any means, she was complicit in her silence.

Please do not think doing the right thing comes without a price. As I sit here typing this response, I am unemployed. I have interviewed for a few positions (with public school systems and in the private sector). Many times I get called back for a second or third interview only to be sent an email basically saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Both my gut and some brave souls willing to commend my action tell me that– because of my decision to advocate for thousands of students and be a voice– I have to take some hits.

I’m okay with that.

This is part of my journey.

And I won’t stop talking!

–Adell Cothorne

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of former Atlanta Public Schools School Research Team Director Tamara Cotman, center, is led to a holding cell after a jury found her guilty in the test-cheating trial on April 1 in Atlanta. Source: Kent D. Johnson/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP.