Because of all the attention on APS, it’s often forgotten that Dougherty County had 14 of its 26 schools flagged in the state’s audit of improbable wrong to right erasures on the 2009 CRCT. Atlanta is a larger system under a more relentless media glare than this southern Georgia system.
But investigators for the state have now completed their interviews of between 300 and 350 employees and gained confessions from at least 10 educators.
Some of those interviewed have admitted to violating test protocol by either sharing with students the correct answers or changing answers after students turned their tests in, special investigator Richard Hyde told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Now we need to see if those violations rise to the level of a crime,” he said.
Hyde, former state Attorney General Michael Bowers and former DeKalb County District Attorney Bob Wilson were appointed by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue in August 2010 to investigate possible cheating on the 2009 Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests in the Atlanta and Dougherty school systems.
In July, the three issued a scathing report, outlining evidence of a decade of systemic cheating in Atlanta Public Schools and implicating 178 educators at 44 of its schools. The Atlanta cheating investigation, believed to be the largest in U.S. history, was the priority. But after the release of the report, Hyde, Bowers and Wilson put the focus on Dougherty.
Hyde said 12 GBI agents spent six weeks in Dougherty, interviewing between 300 and 350 teachers and administrators and obtaining “a fair number of confessions.” He would not say exactly how many, but Hyde said the number of confessions is in the “double digits,” so 10 or more.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog