2 teachers implicated in cheating scandal cleared; 3 more added

by: Mark Winne Updated:

ATLANTA,None —

One of the three special investigators appointed to conduct the CRCT investigation by Gov. Nathan Deal told Channel 2 Action News two teachers implicated in the cheating report have been cleared to work. Meanwhile, three more teachers have been added to the list of implicated educators.

Special Investigator Bob Wilson sat down with investigative reporter Mark Winne to explain why he and fellow special investigators Mike Bowers and Richard Hyde have removed the two teachers from the list of implicated educators after they reviewed the evidence again.

 “Two teachers that we had implicated, we felt like the evidence wasn’t there and should be removed from that list and allowed to go back to work,” Wilson said.

The initial report released by the Governor’s Office earlier this year indicated Atlanta Public School teachers Lori Dewberry and Kiatonya Wormley were among the 178 educators implicated in the cheating scandal.

According to the report, Wormley and two others were responsible for cheating at Miles Elementary School. The report alleged Dewberry and another individual cheated at Jackson Elementary School.

Wilson said after delivery of the report, Deal asked the special investigators to prepare referrals to the Professional Standards Commission for possible action against the certification of implicated educators.

According to Wilson, the investigators re-examined the evidence against each teacher or administrator one-by-one, including re-interviewing people.

“In the end, our goal was to find the truth,” Wilson said.

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A letter dated July 14, 2010 from a special investigator to an APS official said evidence relevant to Wormley’s case was re-evaluated. “We recommend she be re-instated,” stated the letter.

Another letter to APS dated Sept. 2 said evidence was re-evaluated and additional investigation conducted in Dewberry’s case. The letter said Dewberry may return to her teaching position at APS.

The investigators’ thorough review of the evidence not only resulted in two teachers’ exonerations, but also in discovering significant evidence against three other teachers not previously flagged.

Wilson said, “There were three teachers who had not previously been implicated that we determined the evidence was sufficient enough to refer them to the Professional Standards Commission”

Wilson told Winne writing the 800-page CRCT report was a laborious task.

“From very early in the morning ‘till very late at night, often again very early in the morning, for about two and a half weeks straight. We were in a closed, windowless room,” said Wilson.

APS spokesperson Keith Bromery told Winne both exonerated teachers are back at work teaching for APS, though Wormley has transferred to another elementary school.

Wormley and Dewberry declined to comment for this story.