Many of you are already commenting on the latest AJC story on the ongoing drama at APS over who knew what in the CRCT cheating scandal and who covered for whom.
The newest story is complex, and I would recommend that you read it in full.
In quick summary, an employee charged with sexual harassment later alleged that Superintendent Beverly Hall ordered the destruction of investigative documents that detailed “systematic” cheating and that the harassment allegations grew out of her resistance to Hall’s actions.
The ex employee is Colinda Howard, who from 2005 to 2010 headed the district’s internal investigations office. And the allegations were in a letter from a lawyer seeking a monetary settlement for Howard, who resigned under pressure after accusations she made lewd comments to male employees.
Howard’s attorney maintained in his letter that the investigation into his client’s conduct represented retaliation because she objected to “illegal and unethical actions she was directed to undertake by her superiors.” The district later cleared Howard and paid her a small settlement.
This story raises a lot of issues that I hoped would be resolved by the APS probe by former prosecutors Mike Bowers and Bob Wilson and the GBI. That report is supposed to be released soon, although Hall may be gone since these are her final weeks running APS.
According to the AJC story:
Howard’s claims are the most serious that have emerged against Hall during the year-long investigation. Hall denies ordering or even knowing about cheating. In a recent farewell video to district employees, however, she acknowledged that some educators had broken the rules. In a letter to Howard’s lawyer last year, the district’s general counsel denied that any employee “engaged in illegal or unethical conduct related to the development and/or retention of records.”
Howard, who no longer lives in Atlanta, did not respond to an e-mail requesting an interview. Her lawyer, Michael Baskin, declined to comment.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog