As the school year begins and school administrators are dealing with fewer teachers and larger class sizes, the integrity of many Atlanta area schools is still coming under fire. A special investigation is being put together to take a closer look at the cheating scandal that erupted near the end of the 2009 school year.
Governor Perdue is not happy with the current state of the investigation into the possible cheating that took place on the CRCT tests earlier this year. (Source – 11alive.com) He appeared before the State Board of Education to speak about his displeasure. He called the current investigation’s results “woefully inadequate” .
“This is a sad day,” Perdue said. “What has happened here has stunted the education growth of thousands of children by adults who cheated.”
In response to this, Gov. Perdue will be appointing a special investigator to take a much more detailed look at the situation. The special investigator could be assigned as early as today.
The response from the State Board of Education seems to be positive.
In a joint statement, State Board of Education Chair Wanda Barrs and State Schools Superintendent Brad Bryant agreed with the Governor’s action.
“The State Board of Education and the Department of Education have demonstrated a commitment to these investigations since the first actions were taken in June 2009 and will continue this work,” Barrs and Bryant said. “We fully accept the Governor’s charge to take every means possible to ensure that any actions by adults do not negatively impact the education of Georgia’s students.” (Source – georgia.gov)
The special investigator will have the power to subpoena witnesses and force them to answer questions, something that the previous investigation has not done. This will allow the investigator to refer cases to the local District Attorney for possible prosecution. The investigation will focus on schools in Doughty county and in Atlanta.
Among the problems noted are that many employees did not cooperate with the earlier investigation and that some schools were listed as a lower priority than others. Of the over a hundred employees who have been tagged for possible discipline, the investigation so far has only allowed action to be taken against 8 of them.
Kathleen Mathers, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, was critical of the approach taken by Caveon Test Security that gave a lower priority to 31 schools.
“Children in one school don’t deserve less of an investigation than in another,” she said in a presentation to state board members that preceded Perdue’s appearance. (Source – ajc.com)