Two APS teachers named in the devastating state CRCT cheating report have been cleared, which I have to imagine will allow them to sleep better at night.
The clearing of Kiatonya Wormley of Miles Elementary and Lori Dewberry of Jackson Elementary and their return to work reminds us that everyone named in the state cheating investigation has to have a chance to respond to the charges.
The two teachers were among 180 educators implicated in the report, including five high-ranking administrators. If the cheating allegations are upheld, the educators could lose their license to teach and some may also face criminal charges and termination.
The reversal doesn’t mean the report’s remaining findings are flawed, said former state Attorney General Mike Bowers, one the special investigators who worked on the probe.
“We were trying to do justice, but to be just,” Bowers said. “Where we are shown we have made a mistake, or read things incorrectly, we are open to revisions. But that cuts both ways.”
Three additional educators were implicated after the report’s July release, Bowers said.
Special investigator Bob Wilson, who also worked on the case, said questions came up regarding these two teachers, but he couldn’t recall what specific information led to the change in their status. But, he said, after reviewing the evidence investigators felt comfortable the two teachers should be removed from the list.
Michael McGonigle, legal services director for the Georgia Association of Educators, said APS made the right decision by reinstating the teachers. He maintains the report has inaccuracies. “The report paints in these broad strokes,” he said. “And now we have two confirmed cases where, upon review, the report was unsubstantiated, legally speaking.”
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog