The AJC’s Ty Tagami reports today that three former school administrators were indicted by a DeKalb County grand jury on charges they manipulated tests or attendance records to improve measures of school performance.
Just two weeks after a Fulton County grand jury indicted 35 former Atlanta Public Schools educators in an alleged cheating conspiracy, the DeKalb grand jury accused former DeKalb County School District employees Angela Jennings, Agnes Flanagan and Derrick Wooten of manipulating records.
Flanagan, who was principal of Cedar Grove Middle School, allegedly directed teachers to change students’ answers on the 2009 Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests. Jennings, who was principal at Rock Chapel Elementary, allegedly ordered the temporary removal of students from enrollment records, so their 2010 test results wouldn’t count against school averages. Wooten, who was an assistant principal at Stoneview Elementary, is accused of ordering teachers to mark truants as having attended school in 2010 and 2011 so the school might meet federal attendance guidelines.
DeKalb District Attorney Robert James said the case resulted from an investigation his office conducted after the school district turned over evidence from its own cheating probe.
Here is the official response to the indictments from DeKalb Schools:
DeKalb County School District Interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond promised the school district’s full cooperation following the indictment today of three former DCSD employees implicated in alleged testing irregularities.
“We will respect the rights of the accused former employees while pledging our full cooperation to the district attorneyís office in getting this matter behind us,” said Thurmond. “The district attorney will have access to all the data and information the district has at its disposal.”
Thurmond acknowledged the swift and decisive action taken by district officials in dealing with the crisis following a state erasure analysis in 2010.
DCSD worked cooperatively with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission to provide training to all employees to ensure they were aware of and compliant with testing protocols. DCSD also ensured that every student who had been potentially impacted by alleged irregularities were given thorough remedial classroom assistance.
“This district moved quickly and decisively in handling the testing crisis,” said Thurmond. “We will continue to work cooperatively with legal authorities.”
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog