It has to shake Atlanta teachers and administrators up to see GBI agents arriving on their campuses to question them on the CRCT cheating allegations.
Gov. Sonny Perdue has signaled from the very start of this probe that he was not playing and that he would not tolerate whitewashes or half efforts by systems with unusual erasure rates.
He has surprised me with his tenacity. I figured with his tenure winding down, this issue might lose momentum.
Not so. He’s assigned two noted prosecutors to the case, Bob Wilson and Mike Bowers, and now the GBI. He apparently does not want to leave office with this unresolved.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents began questioning Atlanta public school teachers Monday afternoon, part of an ongoing investigation into possible test tampering.
GBI spokesman John Bankhead declined to say how many schools the agents were targeting, but school system spokesman Keith Bromery said agents had arrived at at least “three so far” Monday afternoon.
Bankhead stressed that teachers are not targets for criminal charges as long as they are truthful with agents. It is a felony to lie to a law enforcement officer.
Less than a week after Gov. Sonny Perdue signed an executive order directing the GBI to join the probe, 50 agents gathered at a hotel south of Atlanta for a briefing and their assignments. Those agents, pulled from all over the state, account for over one-fifth of the GBI’s investigators.
The GBI is only focusing on Atlanta schools for now, Bankhead said.
The executive order, signed last Wednesday, is the latest step in a criminal investigation of Atlanta Public Schools’ handling of Criterion-Referenced Competency Test results last year.