This is in response to the letter "Don't let state interfere with local education" [Aug. 10], about the Glen Cove schools cheating scandal. The writer asks, "Why did these teachers risk their careers and reputations to help these students?"
The writer implies that the guilty parties may have had a valid reason for cheating, or perhaps were coerced by some dark, state-driven external force.
Allow me to offer three possibilities that likely influenced their decisions to cheat: First, they were motivated by a purely altruistic desire to assist their students. Second, the cheaters were driven by a parochial loyalty to their employer and associates to maintain an image of success in their school district. Third, they were attempting to assure that their professional evaluations were not negatively affected by poor test outcomes.
Only one of these was likely important enough to be the ultimate trigger, and you don't have to be an expert in psychology to figure out which it was. This group is an anomaly in the teaching profession, and it was dealt with appropriately.
Christopher D. Reilly, Coram