APS teacher cleared of test-cheating allegation



ATLANTA - An Atlanta Public School teacher is fighting to get her job back after she was accused of cheating on several standardized tests, a charge she is now cleared of.

The move may come after a tribunal panel exonerated her on a cheating charge. Now the school board will have to decide to reinstate Angela Williamson or terminate her. Meanwhile, her attorney says if the school board doesn't reinstate her, Williamson will seek legal action. 

If the decison leans in Williamson's favor, she will become the first APS educator to have her job reinstated after appearing before the tribunal in the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test cheating scandal.

"I knew all along that I was innocent," a tearful Williamson said, "This was a draining process. Now I can get my life back," Williamson said.

According to state investigators, Williamson, while at Dobbs Elementary in 2008 and 2009, was accused of prompting students during the CRCT to change their answers from wrong to right by coughing, frowning or telling them to "go back over your answers."

Her lawyer, Gerald Griggs, said they will consider suing the school district to clear her name.

Griggs told Channel 2's Amanda Cook he hopes Williamson will get her job back.



Griggs argued that since 1999 when Williamson started with APS, it was the district's policy for her to tell students to go back over their answers after they finished taking a test.

Investigators claimed Williamson had admitted to cheating.

"No. She didn't admit to cheating. She admitted to the Atlanta policy which was to go back over their  answers when they finished early, when they weren't focused, when they didn't know what to do next," he said. At no point, did she say 'This is right, this is the wrong answer'. No, she said, 'Go back over your answers.'"

Griggs said he expects three things: For Williamson to be reinstated as she was today, to be paid, and to have her name cleared.

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