The APS cheating scandal casts a long shadow, all the way to Texas.

After the release of the state’s devastating report on cheating in Atlanta schools and the culture that fostered and tolerated it, many people concluded that it would be unlikely that the APS top leadership would ever work again in education.

They could be right.

Tonight, former APS superintendent deputy Kathy Augustine lost her new post in a suburban Texas system. The DeSoto Independent School District board of trustees canceled Augustine’s three-year school chief contract and negotiated a buyout with her. That 3-2 vote to remove Augustine makes her the highest-ranking Atlanta administrator to lose a job because of the scandal.

According to the AJC:

The board bypassed monthly business to take up the matter in a closed session. They deliberated more than 90 minutes before voting. Augustine’s contract stipulates that in case of termination, she and the board must mutually agree on the terms.

“This is nothing personal,” said Sandra Wheeler, a DeSoto school board member who had cautioned against hiring Augustine. “This is about leadership in this district. It’s about ethics and integrity. At this time, I don’t feel the leadership ability is there. I have chosen to support the severance. I think our children are owed what’s best.”

Board member Aubrey Hooper, while acknowledging he found the investigation of the APS scandal “troubling,”  said DeSoto had to move forward and get its students prepared for college.

“I don’t feel 100 percent that the leader we have chosen can make that happen,” Hooper said. “I have some questions there.”

Augustine was placed on administrative leave in July after only one day of work in her $188,000 job while the board looked into her involvement with APS cheating. A photo of her in a collegiate robe standing with the DeSoto board remains on the Texas district’s website. Yet she spent little time actually working on DeSoto Schools business with her board.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

67 comments Add your comment


August 8th, 2011
10:38 pm

It’s called “due diligence”. Now, the taxpayers are having to foot the bill because their school board did not exercise it. Hate it for the taxpayers, but really, who couldn’t have seen this one coming?

Ole Guy

August 8th, 2011
10:52 pm

Negotiated buyout? Howsabout a bucket o’tar…then again, why not. All we’re doing is what we seem to do best…CELEBRATE MEDIOCRITY. Even the foulups win, all the way to the bank.


August 8th, 2011
11:04 pm

Lee: she was apparently being investigated when they hired her. The board knew…it was out there at the time.

Long Time Coming...

August 8th, 2011
11:39 pm

Wow…that karma is a funny thing. Just when you think it won’t find you! Kathy Augustine got exactly what she deserved. She was so corrupt in Atlanta that her leadership style trinkled down to those Executive Directors. 90% of what is in the report is exactly true! It’s unfortunate, but necessary. It’s high time that she realizes you CAN’T continue to do WRONG by people and not expect to pay a heavy price!!

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

August 9th, 2011
12:30 am

The wheels of Justice may grind slowly but they do grind finely.

Thank god

August 9th, 2011
1:56 am

What’s good for the Gees is good for the gander.

Praise the lord

August 9th, 2011
2:03 am

That woman try to destroyed my career without waiting for the facts; well now the shoe is on your foot. I wish they had just fired her; she was a mean old beast. She spearheaded this whole cheating scandal that’s why she protected Dr. Hall like a hawk.

Former Executive director

August 9th, 2011
2:06 am

I never like you or Dr. Hall. Thats why I got out of there before the sh–t hit the fan. Now you have mess all in your face.

Celebrate, come on

August 9th, 2011
2:10 am

I feel nothing for that woman, she did a lot of folks wrong and frankly, im enjoying this. Harvard give me a break. She was the most beastly, heavy handed woman i have ever met. She was abusive to everyone. She got what she deserved. You destroyed a lot of good people because you could. Now you will never get that job you wanted.

Investigate the High School Principals, they cheated too. Carver. Mays is the leader.

Im celebrating

August 9th, 2011
2:12 am

Dont throw stones if you live in a glass house


August 9th, 2011
2:26 am

Few thoughts:
I vote 10 years in prison for every child that was robbed of an honest education.
You’d think they have some kind of ethics class in doctorate school…. Phd – Professionally Hiding Decency
This is exactly what happens when the government is in the education business 188k?!!!? For what?

YEs there is a God

August 9th, 2011
2:27 am

Good for them, a wise decision. I love it

YEs there is a God

August 9th, 2011
2:33 am

“There is no man that does not have a cross to bear”

I respected those folks

August 9th, 2011
2:42 am

I am so happy, a little vodoo do work. All of you principals who where on High Horses. I wish you luck. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAH. I got a job and you dont.


August 9th, 2011
2:47 am

Dumb southerners, did you real thing those children can compete with the likes of New York and Chicago.


August 9th, 2011
2:51 am

I love it, she tried and fired me untill i gtot an attorny. I hated that woman with a passion. She is a wicked, wicked, wicked, mean, nasty woman.

Write Your Board Members

August 9th, 2011
6:00 am

It amazed me that she was even considered for this job. It speaks poorly of either the search firm (if they used one) and/or the Board, for even thinking this was a good idea.

A simple google search would have raised enough questions in my mind.


August 9th, 2011
7:15 am

AHHHHHHHH HAHAHAHAAAA!!! Giving the devil her due. She may walk with a few dollars but no doubt she would rather have the job and her reputation. Well maybe. Types like her have no remorse or regret. Oh they say “I be sorry” but they are not. Just lies followed by more lies and more of the same.

Im happy she will be getting the boot. VERY HAPPY!!!


August 9th, 2011
7:15 am

Enter your comments here.


August 9th, 2011
7:17 am

This is wonderful news and hopefully a harbinger of things to come for the remaining crooks and thugs in APS. Hall, Augustine and a few others need some serious jail time and I hope they get it.



August 9th, 2011
7:43 am

Why is CFO Chuck Burbridge still employed by APS? Why did he wait almost 2 years to fill the open position of Deputy CFO with a good ole boy from Cobb County? Why did he terminate the former Grants Manager and replace her with a “good ole girl” from Cobb County? Why hasn’t Supt. Davis hired an outside auditor to conduct a forensic audit of APS finances? Take a look at some of the contractors that Burbridge hired. Take a very close look at the Comptroller & Accounting Manager. Why didn’t the CFO not know that APS had a $10 million budget shortfall? Something is definitely wrong here and Davis needs to “Step Up or Step Down”.

Doris M

August 9th, 2011
7:54 am

The DeSoto ISD should never have offered K. Augustine a contract. They knew of the APS debacle and knew that Augustine was clearly enmeshed in it, at the very top. While DeSoto may have to pay off Augustine, it is better to do so than to be stuck with her.
I agree with the sentiments of others in this blog, whatever you put out there in the universe will certainly come back to you. APS under Beverly Hall was run by many very mean spirited people. They ignored rules and regulations and got rid of any right-thinking individuals. Augustine is getting what she deserves and I hope they all will get just exactly what they deserve. Now when will Sharron Pitts be fired? And what about Lester McKee — whom Augustine brought to APS from Louisiana? He was the data expert. Didn’t he know cheating numbers when he saw them — of course he did. When will he go?


August 9th, 2011
8:19 am

A lot of posters on here look pretty ghetto with their inability to spell and form a coherent sentence. The scary thing is they appear to be APS employees, maybe even principals. Why am I not surprised?

Robert E. Richardson

August 9th, 2011
8:29 am

Wow, somebody finally is getting it right. Augustine was a big time ring leader receiving big ass bonuses while our children were being cheated! Too bad she is getting paid for being fired! Desoto should be slapped for being so stupid in thinking Augustine didn’t know what was happening in the scandal. The APS still needs to clean house of all of those theifs at the top!

Inman Park Boy

August 9th, 2011
8:43 am

What concerns me more than the actual cheating was the climate of fear created by these corrupt administrators in the Atlanta system. I have been a teacher/administrator for forty years, and I have always viewed myself as a professional person, bound by strict ethical standards that leave no room for threats, intimidation or “favositism.” I weep for those good teachers who were “forced” into cheating just to save their livelihood. Utterly disgusting! And I say that any current or former administrator of the APS who took part in creating that culture of fear deserves to lose his or her livelihood. Or go to jail. Or both. A pox on them!


August 9th, 2011
8:52 am

Doctor or Doctored!

Inside Scoop – Harvard degree??? District administrators using school system funds to participate in Harvard and other on-line programs are almost always accepted. They pass their university research assigments on as a “special project” to someone in their Reasearch & Evaluation Departments for later use in dissertations. Big Joke: Would Augustine have been allowed to attend Harvard as a regular student upon completing high school? Don’t be duped! Cheating, stealing & lying are intimately and intricately related.

Hopefully, the AJC investigative team will continue to pursue the extensive misue of tax dollars during the reign of Hall & Augustine. .

the prof

August 9th, 2011
8:56 am

I agree with you Suavez….very distressing!

jerry peters

August 9th, 2011
9:03 am

DOCKTER Augustine or the “Godmother” ( as the as known to the GBI) was responsible for orchestrating this disgraceful mess upon our city. She face the full wrath of criminal prosecution. Only then will our youth and taxpayers feel that justice has been served.


August 9th, 2011
9:03 am

It looks like the Desoto School Systen operates like many school districts. They don’t care how they spend taxpayers money.

1 Never should of hired Augustine. Is that the best ya got in the whole USA??
2 The School board has been paying her while they have sat on their fat hands.
3.The will negotiate a settlement? Fire her for just cause!
$ I bet the board is black. But then again, they’re only hurting their “own”


August 9th, 2011
9:05 am

@Ellen, would you have felt better if she had attended classes at the brick and mortar Harvard school? There is absolutely nothing wrong with someone studying online. Furthermore, you stated that applicants are “…almost always accepted”. So, you admit that not everyone is accepted. I haven’t studied online, and I doubt that you have either. It’s unfair to attack her education.

I am just waiting to see what happens next in this story. It seems like the drama will never end.


August 9th, 2011
9:20 am

im with Ole Guy…..mediocrity reigns supreme……and they still pay for it… dumb can you be?


August 9th, 2011
9:27 am

@Suavez….I thought it was just my imagination!


August 9th, 2011
9:27 am

There is something up with the Harvard degrees. I know someone with a Harvard education (so she says) who can’t write a cogent email. If Harvard is concerned about their “branding” they should seriously take a look at who they’re handing out degrees to in some areas.


August 9th, 2011
9:37 am

Dockter Augustine

@RJ – I agree with Ellen…many of the online programs that enter partnerships with urban school districts only reject those who are totally out of it ( minimal writing skills).


August 9th, 2011
9:47 am

Harvard & Augustine go together like Einstein and Al Capone. Wow the corruption that has taken place in the APS seems to have no end. My God, do we have a prison large enough?


August 9th, 2011
9:57 am

Sounds like the Harvard ghetto program.


August 9th, 2011
10:04 am

@Julie, where is the proof in this allegation? I don’t buy it. My neighbor’s daughter is a graduate student at Harvard. She is extremely bright and articulate. To suggest that her degree is inferior due to this scandal is ridiculous. Again, I’d just like to see proof.

Another Voice

August 9th, 2011
10:11 am

DeSoto’s board were complete idiots not to see this coming. All they saw was “big city school system” stars in their eyes, didn’t look at the news reports. Sad part is that she’ll make some bucks off this – worked one day, and will probably walk away with a year’s pay.

Well, at least her girlfirend Joyce McCloud won’t have to move to metro Dallas!


August 9th, 2011
10:14 am

You can take the ‘teacher’ out of the ghetto, but you can’t….


August 9th, 2011
10:17 am

Wake up RJ! I bet your neighbor’s daughter is not a participant in this specially designed program. She was probably screened and accepted on her academic accomplshments and other supportive merits.

I fully understand that the revelations surfacing of the decade long APS graft has reached a state of unbeliveablity.


August 9th, 2011
11:31 am

i think the beverly hall’s role in the atlanta cheating scandal will surpass even these legendary school superintendents:

walter marks, richmond public schools/kansas city public schools (ironically, he was awarded a “point of light” from former president bush)

bill rojas, san francisco public schools/dallas public schools(include “tim tronson” in your search)

j.l. handy, emeryville public schools/compton public schools, with the famous quote from an affected schoolteacher, “if you are a teacher and you do something wrong, you lose your certification; if you are a superintendent and you bankrupt a district, there’s no mechanism to stop you from going elsewhere and doing it again.”

beverly hall may soon qualify for membership in this exclusive club.

Vet - POW '68-'71

August 9th, 2011
12:48 pm

These people must go to prison. Millions of tax dollars have been squandered. If I steal a bag of chips, I go to jail. Rip kids off &steal from tax payers…no real consequences ( just loss job opportunity or embarassment….no jail time).

Im loving it

August 9th, 2011
1:44 pm

Kathy and Beverly, i got jobs for both of you . hahahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahhahahhahahahahahhahahahahahhahahaha . and to all the principals who lost their jobs. hhahahahahhahahahhahahahahahhahahhahahahahhaahahhaahah o lord wat am i ganna do. me cant ride me big moorcedes no more and me cant afford me big house mortgage.

Im loving it

August 9th, 2011
1:46 pm

Parks principal, you a minister: what a shame to associate yourself with christ. Remember you got me moved to Kennedy because i wont sleep with you. hahahahahahahahahhhahahahahahaahhahahahhahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahah

jorlee thormal

August 9th, 2011
1:49 pm

The real culprits here are the DeSoto school board members. I can’t believe they did their “due diligence” and still decided to hire her. Each member who voted to hire her should be removed by recall, if it is allowed under the appropriate rules. If not, they most assuredly should NEVER be allowed to hold any elected position again.

Sweet Payday

August 9th, 2011
2:07 pm

…and I don’t mean the candy bar. It’s always rewarding to know that people like Kathy Augustine eventually get caught. I am a retired APS teacher, and I still remember the drill that my 2nd grade teacher taught us: “Do not look for wrong or evil, you will find it if you do. What you measure to your neighbor, will be measured back to you.” Dr. Augustine is just getting measured back to herself what she has measured to so many under her.

Now GEORGIA should find a way make right the evil act of so many principals and school systems that messed up the career of so many teachers in 2008 and 2009 in order to adjust their sagging budgets. Cobb and Gwinnett really did a job on some great teachers. Nothing in their conscience gave an ounce of thought to the fact that an Unsatisfactory Evaluation would shut down a teacher’s career. They did not care, because they were only thinking of themselves.

@RJ, I totally agree with you; however, there are some who are so far removed from the benefits of technology, that they will never accept online study. Please let them know that if they are listening to the media, they will see that on online education is now available to middle and high schools, with the plan of including even elementary students.

Sweet Payday

August 9th, 2011
2:10 pm

@Im loving it: Are you REALLY a teacher? REALLY?

Atlanta teacher

August 9th, 2011
4:00 pm

Kennedy, Parks, Toomer, and all the others who got fired. You deserved it.

Atlanta teacher

August 9th, 2011
4:07 pm

Thy high School principals are the biggest cheaters. Why in the world they are not being investigated. Toomer sent Coan dumb children, Coan sent Jackson dumber children and Jackson send colleges the Dumbest children. Georgia in returned has a dumb workforce. As you can see from my writing I graduate from all three schools and now i am a star teacher at jackson. I love the south. You can be dumb a survive.


August 9th, 2011
4:08 pm

I have to say her true colors probably came out during the closed Texas school board meeting and then they realized what a witch they had.