Atlanta Teacher Fired After Allegedly Cheating On Tests Because Her Students Were “Dumb As Hell”

Atlanta math teacher Shayla Smith is now without a job after she allegedly admitted to cheating on tests for students to improve performance of her students, Smith allegedly explained that the illegal assistance was needed because the students were “dumb as hell.”


Smith was responsible for supervising students during tests. Another teacher, Schajuan Jones, who taught a fourth-grade class, says that she heard Smith telling another teacher “I had to give your kids . . . the answers because they’re dumb as hell.”

Smith was found guilty by a teacher’s “tribunal” of willful neglect and immorality. (Frankly, there is something about tribunals handing down immorality convictions that is a bit unsettling). She was fired.

Assuming that she denied the statement allegedly overheard by the other teacher, the ruling appears based on circumstantial evidence in a large degree. The tribunal looked at suspicious erasure marks and found that it was “practically impossible frequency of changes from wrong to right [answers].” I found that statement fascinating since I would assume that many erased answers have a higher likelihood of being right after the test taker reconsidered his or her analysis. It turns out that the old saying that “your first guess is usually right” on exams is actually wrong. One study indicated that

To establish the first-instinct fallacy, the researchers examined the introductory psychology midterm exams of 1,561 University of Illinois students for eraser marks. They counted the number of times students changed answers and found that 51 percent of the changes were from wrong to right, 25 percent were from right to wrong and 23 percent were from wrong to wrong. Changes from wrong to right outnumbered changes from right to wrong 2-to-1, Kruger points out.

Of course, the testimony of the other teacher likely sank any defense. What is clear is that the students are “dumb as hell” is not going to get much traction in a disciplinary proceeding.

Source: CBS

19 thoughts on “Atlanta Teacher Fired After Allegedly Cheating On Tests Because Her Students Were “Dumb As Hell””

  1. But within the last few years, IPTV has dwarfed the caliber of DVD and Cable
    TV. Instant availability is what exactly is triggering ebook piracy too.
    Body Language is nonverbal, usually unconscious, communication with the use of postures, gestures, and facial expressions.

  2. The students at Saint Nathan Bedford Forrest Grade School are at a great disadvantage. All the smart kids moved to Mississippi for a better education.

  3. What happens if the school or district has a high rate of failure? Loss of funds, schools closing, privatization? Is there a silent war going on here (and in other schools) between unobtainable standards, hidden agendas and the schools? Every time I read something like this I get the impression that I’m just getting a glimpse of that faint ripple on the oceans surface that belies a tsunami below the surface.

  4. Interestingly, these weren’t her students. This teacher taught 5th grade, the test she was proctoring was 4th grade. However, a current 8th grade student said this teacher gave her answers a few years ago.

  5. >Smith allegedly explained that the illegal assistance was needed because the students were “dumb as hell.”<

    Doesn't say much for her teaching skills, does it?

  6. JT is clearly trying to defend her dumb honesty, but it will not hold up, she goofed.
    Wish she would have used her expertise on after-school program etc. if only she hadn’t given herself away.
    Mother Teressa.

  7. This same stuff has been going on in Chicago, and you know in many other school districts.

  8. raf,

    Don’t say another word about your math tests … I’m getting you a criminal lawyer just in case there is no statute of limitations. Remember … the Nuns are still watching!

  9. But isn’t this the form of affirmative action that keeps organizations like the Tea Party in business?

  10. “Telling another teacher that you changed test answers would fall into the category of ‘dumb as hell.'”—this doesn’t sound very circumstantial.

    Atlanta schools have a horrible rep. The suburban districts aren’t much better. I know people (public school grads from elsewhere) who put their kids in private school because they weren’t happy with one of the supposedly better suburban districts. Atlanta is grifter central and I wouldn’t be surprised if cheating wasn’t widespread throughout the area. The focus always seems to be on city school, but many suburtban districts have been teaching to test and and test score oriented for decades–I wouldn’t be surprised if those places don’t have sophisticated, incidious approaches to cheating.

  11. Went in dumb, come out dumb too,
    Hustlin round Atlanta in their alligator shoes,

    We’re Rednecks, Rednecks,
    We dont know are a r s e from a hole in the ground,…

    -Randy Newman

  12. You are correct Mespo. Check into the Texas scores when Gov. Bush’s NCLB was first used. They were playing games and keeping students “off the books” in order to make the school grade!

  13. When you base employee job performance on the performance of a third party and then allow the employee to test the third party what do you expect?

  14. Telling another teacher that you changed test answers would fall into the category of “dumb as hell.”

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