PSC moves to suspend or revoke 67 alleged APS cheaters

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission, which certified and polices educators, has voted to take action against 67 Atlanta educators implicated in the cheating scandal first uncovered by the AJC in 2008, a scandal that topped the regime of former school chief Beverly Hall and led to a statewide examination of testing integrity by the governor.

According to the AJC:

The commission handed down two-year suspensions for 47 teachers. One teacher was given a one-year suspension, and 19 educators in leadership positions, such as principals and testing coordinators, were recommended for revocation.

The action signals significant progress in the cheating case. Before today, the commission had taken action against 16 Atlanta educators accused of cheating. The educators could still face termination from Atlanta Public Schools and criminal charges.

Details were not released about the educators, including their names or where they worked. The commission does not identify educators accused of misconduct until the case is closed, a process that could take years because of legal hang-ups and court appeals.

The punishments handed out by the PSC can range from a warning to revocation of their certification. A revocation will make it difficult for an educator to work in another public school in Georgia or another state, as the sanction would appear in a national database. But educators can appeal sanctions through a multi-step legal process, which can take years to resolve.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

20 comments Add your comment

carlosgvv

April 12th, 2012
12:45 pm

Tip of the iceberg.

Ron F.

April 12th, 2012
12:57 pm

I still wonder how far up this could go. If they participated, they deserve revocation, period. I would like to see stiffer penalties for those who pressured some of the teachers to do it, if that can ever be proven. At the very least, it will make everyone involved with these tests a lot more careful, which will be good in the long run for the kids.

Old timer

April 12th, 2012
12:58 pm

I wonder when we will see administrators punished for their encouragement of cheating. And, yes, I think also…just the tip of the iceberg.

skipper

April 12th, 2012
1:20 pm

With APS, you either cheat or have scores lower than a sack of rocks…………

RJ

April 12th, 2012
1:48 pm

Unfortunately the innocent will suffer with the guilty. I don’t believe everyone on the report is guilty. Some of it is hear say.

Forsyth County Mom

April 12th, 2012
4:18 pm

Being in the middle of CRCT Testing at my daughter’s middle school, the effects of what these “teachers” (read criminals) did at APS has changed the way things are done now. I don’t know if the effect of these changes is good or bad, but it seems like now the “many are paying for the sins of the few”. I say they throw the book at all of them that either admitted cheating or were proved to be cheating. Being pressured with the loss of your job is NO EXCUSE for what these cowards did to their students. And yeah, take it all the way to the top!!!

Beverly Fraud

April 12th, 2012
4:30 pm

67 educators who made a conscious decision to tarnish the legacy of Beverly Hall by engaging in acts that she had no knowledge of and no possible conceivable way she would have knowledge of, seeing that if she herself were a classroom teacher, her students would have had these same exponential gains, the only difference being hers would be totally legitimate.

I think it’s very sad that neither Andy Young or Shirley Franklin will step up to defend Hall, knowing how selflessly Hall gave to Atlanta for over a decade.

I call on Andy Young and Shirley Franklin do to what is right and just, and work in conjunction with the Chamber to honor Dr. Hall by naming an APS school in her honor.

Atlanta Mom

April 12th, 2012
7:10 pm

yagottabekiddingme

April 12th, 2012
8:05 pm

Now we just need to go after the big fish—Bev herself!

Maude

April 13th, 2012
7:53 am

As a teacher who would never cheat on anything. I think 2 years is a slap in the face to all the honest hard working teachers. These cheaters should never be allowed the chance to cheat a child out of an education again. They are the reason all teachers are looked down upon.

Maude

April 13th, 2012
7:55 am

What a shame! They should never be allowed back in a classroom. As a teacher I am deeply hurt that these cheaters can be back in a classroom after 2 years to cheat our children again. It is no wonder the general public has no respect for teachers.

Maude is Right

April 13th, 2012
11:01 am

I agree with Maude. She says “What a shame! They should never be allowed back in a classroom. As a teacher I am deeply hurt that these cheaters can be back in a classroom after 2 years to cheat our children again. It is no wonder the general public has no respect for teachers.”
Two years and back in the classroom?
They should be banned from EVER having ANY government job for the rest of their lives.

How do you know RJ?

April 13th, 2012
1:13 pm

Rj, you say “Unfortunately the innocent will suffer with the guilty. I don’t believe everyone on the report is guilty. Some of it is hear say.”
How do you know it is heresay? Were you at the meetings?
Are you one of the accused?
Please explain yourself.
If you know information to be true or false, you are a valuable witness for the accused.
Please give details…or are you yourself only speculatiing and adding to the heresay?

Justice Seeker

April 13th, 2012
3:34 pm

If you read the report prepared by the special investigators, it is fairly obvious that it is a mishmash of several writers and many of them not good at writing a report. Most of what is contained in the report and presented as evidence are confessions and implication of others by the confessors. The people who confessed seemed to be browbeat into those confessions. I am not saying those folks aren’t guilty, but without people ratting each other out, the evidence is very thin.

I do believe that for many of the accused that did not confess there is little, if any, evidence implicating them. Make no mistake, there were many bad actors, most of those implicated appear guilty, but this was a witch hunt and there are some innocents who are caught up in the politics of the situation.

For more information, I would suggest you contact Kathleen Mathers (former Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement) and Gary Walker (former Director of Ethics for the Georgia Professional Standards Commission), but neither of them have their jobs any more. Total coincidence, both left their posts within two weeks of the Professional Standards Commission giving them a free pass on some unethical behavior (my opinion and that of many who read the complaint) of their own last September. Are you wondering why it took so long for the GAPSC to act? It is tough when two of the main players of this deal leave in the middle of the whole investigation. Good riddance to those two.

This is troublesome!

April 13th, 2012
4:11 pm

Listen to what Maureen said. It is very troublesome “A revocation will make it difficult for an educator to work in another public school in Georgia or another state…”
A REVOCATION makes it DIFFICULT to work in GA?
I thought a revocatoin of one’s license meant one COULD NOT work at all.
This is nothing but a slpa on the wrist and a GUARANTEE that cheating will continue.
I am disgusted.
These fools should never work at ANY government job EVER in their lifetime.

The Scandal is Bull:

April 13th, 2012
5:12 pm

@how do you know RJ: Common reading comprehension skills is one way to know that the report is hearsay…but the DA’s office is back in the schools performing yet another investigation…hearsay doesn’t hold up in the court of law. That report is useless.

A living hell

April 13th, 2012
10:26 pm

It’s been a living hell for me as a Teacher to become branded by the fallout of such a scandal; especially because with the acquisition of the ultimate degree: Ph.D. in my field, I’ve become all the more a true Elmer Fudd. The cheating scandal is no less than a ‘waskilee wabbit’. Though the entire scenario is one that exemplifies the desperation of the US American education system, a rock and a hard place is not the response — and neither is the ridicule of the former teachers. Perhaps, just as much time and energy (and all of the money — to keep this drama on-going) can be put into stabilizing the cartoon-like knowledge of our US American student population and into the much needed resources to make our students more competitive. I dare not say in a ‘global society’, because if the world is round then the rest of the world is being scammed, too. In other words, as the socio-cultural history of the US progresses, so does a population of poverty the world over balloon. May God bless the United States of America and grant me the strength to carry on.

Active Voter

April 16th, 2012
12:56 am

I read the report when it first came out. Some teachers SHOULD NOT have been in that grouping. Dr. Davis should have followed his first step when he said case by case BUT pressure from the mayor, public, etc. caused him to do a sweep. Do you realize that some schools didn’t have confessions or were testing irregularities like read the directions 3 times or a special needs student yelled out math answers in 2009? Remember in 2009 we didn’t have forms to fill out testing irregularities. Because the erasures looked suspicious & there was not verbal proof from anyone, the investigators said the principal should have known. Confessed people should be gone, those who didn’t confess & those obviously don’t deserve to be in this situation should have quick due process NOW!

patrick crabtree

April 16th, 2012
5:17 am

The sad part is that now we have a Reduction in Force.What makes it worse is that the non-closing, non-merging schools are the only ones not affected by the RIF. Most of the closing schools are not the cheating schools, yet our staffs have to find jobs or we will be walked out. We are employed by Atlanta Public Schools, not let’s say Herndon Elementary. We are not a program, we are schools and there is a difference. Why aren’t all employees sharing the burden? As you see, repercussions from the Hall administration. Be it a lesson, what looks goods, sounds good, feels good may really be poison. Too many charters, taking our students leaving empty buildings blighting our neighborhoods, can lead to further destruction of the neighborhood’s development. Leadership allowed the cheating to go on. It is their problem, not really the teacher. They allowed it to go on. The did not do their job!

To Patrick Crabtree

April 16th, 2012
9:53 am

No charter school TAKES a students as you say. The parents FLEE from the school.
There is a BIG difference.
If the school was good, it wouldn’t be closing.
All the good schools with good test scores are thriving and full.
Only the failing ones are closing.
It’s like a business.
When a business doesn’t produce what the people want to buy, it closes and the employees lose their jobs.