• APS: 'Turning the corner' from the cheating scandal

    By: Patti DiVincenzo


    ATLANTA - The associate superintendent for Atlanta Public Schools told Channel 2 Action News the school district is "turning the corner" from the cheating scandal of 2011.

    In June of that year, Gov. Nathan Deal released an investigative report on a widespread scandal that implicated nearly 180 educators.

    The investigation centered on the 2009 Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, otherwise known as the CRCT.\

    Channel 2 Action News has compiled a map of the schools named in the cheating scandal. Click here for an interactive map of each school and read what happened to educators who were implicated.

    Thirty five of those people now face criminal charges. More than 150 educators either resigned or were fired. And, perhaps not as publicized, is the fact that 24 of those educators are back on the payroll at APS.

    "We have a number of those individuals in various capacities throughout the district," said Associate Superintendent Steve Smith.

    The first two exonerated should not have been named in the report in the first place.

    Just weeks after the report was released, the original investigators sent a letter to APS recommending the reinstatement of Miles Elementary School teacher Kiatonya Wormley.

    In September, investigators recommended the reinstatement of Jackson Elementary Teacher Lori Dewberry.

    Investigator Bob Wilson told Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne that he and fellow special investigators Mike Bowers and Richard Hyde re-examined the evidence for everyone they named in the special report.

    "In the end, our goal was to find the truth," Wilson told Winne.

    After filing an open records request, Channel 2 Action News found four implicated principals on the payroll: Former Fickett Elementary Principal Anthony Dorsey, former F.L. Stanton Elementary Principal Marlo Barber, former Capitol View Elementary Principal Arlene Snowden and Former West Manor Elementary Principal Cheryl Twyman.

    These four filed a lawsuit against the Atlanta Public Schools system last year. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the district told these educators there was insufficient evidence against them.

    Other educators fought APS by asking for a tribunal, a panel of educators that would either uphold a teacher's dismissal, or recommend that they be rehired and several were exonerated.

    One example is Corliss Love. Investigators authorities accused her of prompting students at M.A. Jones Elementary to change test answers.

    A tribunal said a recorded interview did not include a confession by Love. Love and the other exonerated teachers are on the payroll, though Smith declined to talk about their exact positions with the school district.

    Smith told Channel 2 Action News the reinstatement process has been concluded.

    "We are very much moving forward now," Smith said.

    Smith said the system has stringent security measures to prevent cheating.

    The Governor's Office of Student Achievement applauded the new measures, stating on its website: "These test security measures help restore a standard of ethics and integrity to APS and confidence in test scores for the benefit of its students. Such initiatives could also serve as a best practice for school districts throughout the state, as they improve security and integrity not only for the CRCT but for all K-12 student assessments."

    Channel 2 Action News has compiled a map of the schools named in the cheating scandal. Click on the school to read what happened to the educators there who were implicated.

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