Archive for the ‘CRCT investigation’ Category

Here is the list of people indicted today in APS cheating scandal

The indictments handed down in the last hour by a Fulton County Grand Jury cite RICO conspiracy and individual acts including false swearings, theft by taking and influencing witnesses.

In the indictments, there was only one count of racketeering, which carries up to 20 years in prison. But the alleged acts of false statements and writings, influencing a witness, theft by taking were the underlying crimes that supported the racketeering charge. Out of 65 counts, one was racketeering, two were influencing a witness, five were theft by taking and the remaining counts concerned the crime of making false statements or writing.

Here is the list of indicted parties:

BEVERLY HALL, former APS school superintendent

MILLICENT FEW, human resources

SHARON DAVIS WILLIAMS

TAMARA COTMAN (JOHNSON), area superintendent

MICHAEL PITTS, area superintendent

CHRISTOPHER WALLER, former principal at Parks Middle School

GREGORY REID

SANDRA WARD, Success For All coordinator at Parks Middle …

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Former Atlanta school chief Beverly Hall and 34 others indicted in APS cheating case

Former Atlanta Superintendent Beverly Hall was among 35 people indicted today in APS cheating scandal.  (AJC photo)

Former Atlanta Superintendent Beverly Hall was among 35 people indicted today in APS cheating scandal. (AJC photo)

Among those named in the indictment handed down tonight by a Fulton County grand jury looking into the APS cheating scandal is former school chief Beverly Hall.

Hall and 34 others were indicted as a result of their alleged roles in the 2009 cheating scandal that toppled her regime, sullied the district’s reputation and raised doubts about testing integrity nationwide.

In the indictments, there was only one count of racketeering, which carries up to 20 years in prison. But the alleged acts of false statements and writings, influencing a witness, theft by taking were the underlying crimes that supported the racketeering charge.

Out of 65 counts, one was racketeering, two were influencing a witness, five were theft by taking and the remaining counts concerned the crime of making false statements or writings.

The cheating discovered by the AJC in Atlanta has …

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Indictments may come today in APS cheating scandal. Grand jury looking at suppressed report on “culture of wrongdoing” at one school

The AJC is expecting indictments possibly later today related to the APS cheating scandal first brought to light by the newspaper. When those indictments come down, please be sure to come back to the blog as there will be a lot to discuss about who was indicted and who was not.

The AJC is already reporting that the grand jury looking at the APS cheating scandal has been focusing in part on D.H. Stanton Elementary School where it appears that data skewing was common.

According to the AJC: (Please read the entire story before commenting. This is an excerpt.)

An internal inquiry confirmed a”culture of wrongdoings” at D.H. Stanton Elementary School in Atlanta: Attendance records were falsified. Disciplinary files were doctored. Friends of the principal got paid for tutoring they never performed. And the principal covered up reports that staff members had physically abused students.

Special investigators appointed to dig into widespread cheating on standardized tests in …

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APS parents and watchers: AJC wants to talk to you about CRCT cheating indictments coming this week

As developments unfold in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating investigation, the AJC would like to get reactions from readers who have/had children in APS or have closely followed the story and have some thoughts.

Please contact my colleague Nancy Badertscher if you are willing to be quoted when appropriate to any developments. She wants to compile a list of possible interviews prior to the handing down of the indictments, which the AJC is now reporting may be Friday.

Thanks, Maureen

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If you thought criminal indictments would never come in APS cheating scandal, think again. Indictments coming.

I had my doubts that any APS officials would ever be criminally indicted for the cheating scandal given how long it has taken,  but I may be proven wrong.

According to the AJC:

Fulton County prosecutors are close to seeking indictments in the Atlanta Public Schools test-cheating scandal, lawyers familiar with the probe said.

Defense attorneys representing some educators are being told criminal charges could be filed soon and that more than two dozen people could be indicted. That would answer questions that have hung over the inquiry since its start: Would the cheating be treated as a crime, and who would be prosecuted?

The Fulton District Attorney’s Office has spent more than 18 months investigating cheating on the 2009 Criterion-Referenced Competency Test.

In July 2011, three special investigators found cheating on standardized tests occurred at 44 Atlanta schools and involved 178 educators, including 38 principals. That probe, initiated by Gov. Sonny Perdue, …

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From Canada to Georgia, teachers complain of pressure to change grades to mask high failure rates

testing (Medium)Interesting AJC story on an Atlanta high school principal who resigned after accusations he bullied and intimidated teachers into raising failing grades.

Grade inflation has been in the national news as schools face increased pressure to improve student achievement, an issue Georgia knows well after the CRCT cheating scandals in Atlanta and Dougherty County schools.

Even Canada, held up as a model of effective education reform, has seen complaints from teachers of mounting pressure to alter grades so fewer students fail under a stricter accountability system.

Closer to home, teachers in a Tennessee for-profit virtual school complained of an email that directed them to drop failing grades. In a recent investigation, Nashville’s WTVF/NewsChannel 5 found that a Tennessee Virtual Academy administrator instructed middle school teachers to delete failing grades.

The case has had reverberations nationwide as the parent company of Tennessee Virtual, K12, the nation’s largest …

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Students First? Michelle Rhee’s report card: Is the issue more choices or better choices?

Michelle Rhee's advocacy group, StudentsFirst, released state report cards, but the grades have no relation to student achievement.

Michelle Rhee's advocacy group, StudentsFirst, released state report cards, but the grades have no relation to student achievement.

All the discussion about expanding school choice through private school tax credits, charter schools and vouchers glosses over a critical caveat: More choices don’t necessarily lead to better choices.

Earlier this week, Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst organization released a report card on state education policy determined in large part by the extent of school choice afforded families and the effort to dismantle teacher unions.

By focusing on public policy, the StudentsFirst report card looked more on State Houses than schoolhouses. Georgia earned a D-plus because StudentsFirst felt the state doesn’t go far enough in providing information and choices to  parents.

While the StudentsFirst report card considerations are extensive, they don’t include student outcomes, which is why Louisiana dramatically outscores Massachusetts, the state that …

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Breaking news out of Albany: Dougherty County school chief is out

Since taking over Dougherty County schools in June of 2010, Superintendent Joshua Murfree has had some major challenges and embarrassments, including a CRCT cheating scandal that he inherited and was reluctant to believe, school administrators lying to qualify for free lunches and a motivational speaker collecting $18,000 for three appearances.

So, it is not a shock that Murfree and the district parted ways today.

From the Albany Herald:

The Dougherty County School Board has just adopted an agreement to release Superintendent Joshua Murfree from his contract.

The vote was a 4-3 split, with Chairman James Bush and members David Maschke, Darrell Ealum and Carol Tharin voting in favor of releasing Murfree, and members Anita Williams-Brown, Velvet Riggins, and Milton “June Bug” Griffin, voting against. Murfree’s last day is December 18, according to the agreement between Murfree and the board.

“I would refer it to the board members, that’s all I have to say,” Murfree said …

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Should a teacher lose job for urging kids to check answers?

As demonstrated with North Atlanta High School, APS chief Erroll Davis is fond of the emphatic gesture. That was also evident when he suspended all the educators implicated in the cheating investigation by Gov. Sonny Perdue.

But some of those educators are fighting to return to their jobs as a tribunal sorts through the evidence against them in a series of hearings.

One of them is M. A. Jones Elementary School teacher Precious Moon. Her case seems among the murkiest, given the lack of clear evidence against her. Take a look at the AJC story on this week’s hearing and let us know what you think.

According to the AJC:

Atlanta Public Schools pressed its case Monday to terminate M. A. Jones Elementary School 5th-grade teacher Precious Moon for her alleged involvement in the 2009 Criterion-Referenced Competency Test cheating scandal that has implicated about 180 educators.

APS Superintendent Erroll Davis testified before a three-person tribunal that he had lost confidence in …

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APS school chief: “Atlanta is poised to succeed.”

 Erroll B. Davis Jr.

Erroll B. Davis Jr.

Here is an essay by APS Superintendent Erroll B. Davis, Jr., on the progress that the district has made in reforming and reinventing itself:

The theme of this year’s annual State of the Schools in Atlanta event was “Children expect the world of us.” It was an occasion for the community and APS educators and administrators to come together at The Carter Center to focus on the importance of education in the lives of our children. The feeling conveyed was equivalent to what we as parents and grandparents feel when we look into the eyes of our own children and grandchildren and commit to doing all in our power to provide them with more than we had.

As APS emerges from what some have described as ‘The Perfect Storm’ of issues, it is important that we maintain the focus on our students and do all that we can to nurture and educate them so that they can become viable 21st Century citizens of the world.

The challenges we have overcome during the past …

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