Atlanta Cheating Scandal Alleged in New Report on Schools

Jul 7, 2011, 09:46 by R.E. Christian

A summary of a report finding massive cheating on state tests in the Atlanta public schools was released Tuesday.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said he was waiting for clearance from the state attorney general before releasing the full report, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said. The newspaper described what was released as "a two-page set of talking points."

The newspaper in an earlier story said officials who had seen the report described it as detailing 10 years of fraudulent scores on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests involving scores of teachers and principals. Investigators said departing Superintendent Beverly Hall either knew or should have known what was going on.

Then-Gov. Sonny Perdue ordered the investigation after the newspaper looked into suspiciously large gains in test scores and evidence scores had been altered in 2008 and 2009. In August 2010, Perdue appointed former Attorney General Mike Bowers, former DeKalb County District Attorney Bob Wilson and Richard Hyde, a former Atlanta police officer, to head an investigation that eventually involved almost 20 percent of the agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Atlanta's apparent increases in student achievement made Hall one of the most honored school officials in the country. She was named superintendent of the year in 2009.

But the report suggested Hall actually encouraged a culture in which cheaters were rewarded and whistleblowers sidelined.

Source: UPI