Like many parents in Atlanta, Governor Sonny Perdue has had enough. In a surprise statement today, the governor said that he’s cracking down on alleged CRCT cheating and the state Board of Education. So much so that Governor Perdue has appointed a special investigator with subpoena powers to get to the bottom of the CRCT cheating issue. “If the results warrant, they also will be forwarded to law enforcement for possible criminal investigation,” the governor told the Board of Education. He also said that it’s a sad day because the Board of Education was unable to clear up the CRCT mess on its own. “I know you share my deep disappointment with the results. To this day, we still have not gotten to the bottom of what was revealed in the 2009 CRCT results,” Perdue told the board.
Once excessive erasures were discovered, the individual school systems were allowed the opportunity to look into the issues. According to Governor Perdue, the individual investigations were “woefully inadequate, both in scope and depth.” The head of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement reported major problems with the investigations, stating that the staff at six of the schools targeted with cheating problems wouldn’t cooperate with the investigation.
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Atlanta schools spokesman Keith Bromery said, “APS welcomes the Governor’s call for a special investigator to look into this matter, and the district will fully cooperate with all aspects of that investigation.”
What? Why are the school systems so ready to “cooperate fully” when they did not do so in the first place? If they had, Governor Perdue would never had to launch a separate investigation. Jeers to you, school officials. And cheers to you, Governor Sonny Perdue. Parents in Atlanta applaud your efforts to stand up to the systems that refuse to get to the bottom of the on-going matter. Cheating should not be tolerated on any level at any time, but especially as it relates to our children and the annual Criterion-Referenced Competency Test. It seems that cheating issues have been reported the last few years, and it’s time for it to stop. Good for you, Sonny Perdue. You have the support of parents.
The same can’t be said of Atlanta Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall. Although she has accepted full responsibility for the cheating scandal and calls it “a painful chapter in our history,” her actions don’t reflect her words. It may be a little too late for Beverly Hall to save face with parents and school administrators. Is it time for Hall to step down and bring in a fresh new face to move forward in a new direction? This parent certainly thinks so.
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