I don’t think we have to worry that the system-ordered investigation into possible CRCT tampering in city of Atlanta schools is going to be a whitewash.
The AJC is reporting today that as many as 100 employees at 12 schools violated testing protocols. Not all 100 are suspected of outright cheating; some of them may have committed inadvertent testing rule violations.
Here is a quote from the chairman of a special investigative committee assembled to look into aberrant answer sheet patterns identified by a statewide audit in the wake of an AJC investigation into CRCT cheating. His comment should allay fears that APS would somehow avoid admitting to any wrongdoing by its schools.
“I’m outraged, primarily because I think about 50,000 kids in this system. If [students] don’t perform well on these tests, if we’ve been passing people along through the system, that’s the important issue,” said Gary Price, chairman of the independent panel that was formed to investigate irregularities on state standardized tests at city schools.
The committee will release the report with more details on Tuesday. AJC reporter Kristina Torres describes the release as “a watershed for the Atlanta system and its acclaimed superintendent, Beverly Hall.”
Hall will either respond to the report in a way that engenders confidence in the system or that provides more ammunition to critics who want new management. The school system continues to win national awards — as does Hall — for closing an academic gap that appeared unbridgeable when Hall took over in 1999. But the cheating investigation comes at a time when APS is undergoing increasing scrutiny for some of those gains, as well as for its financial management.