State investigators on Tuesday released the findings of a probe into the Atlanta Public Schools test-cheating scandal that tarnished the system's once-stellar reputation. Led by former Attorney General Mike Bowers and former DeKalb County District Attorney Bob Wilson, the investigative team interviewed more than 2,000 peopleand reviewed more than 800,000 documents. Investigators identified 178 principal and teachers who they say were involved in cheating.
"A culture of fear and a conspiracy of silence infected this school system, and kept many teachers from speaking freely about misconduct," the report says. "From the onset of this investigation, we were confronted by a pattern of interference by top APS leadership in our attempt to gather evidence. These actions delayed the completion of this inquiry and hindered the truth-seeking process."
View a copy of the report from Gov. Nathan Deal. All files are PDFs.
Part 1: An overview of the investigation, the CRCT test, erasure analysis and summaries of schools investigators visited, starting with Parks Middle School in southwest Atlanta. Investigators say they uncovered evidence of cheating by 13 educators at the school beginning in 2006.
Part 2: A continuation of the school summaries. Schools where investigators found the most instances of cheating are listed first. A section also highlights the drastic changes on test scores between 2009 and 2010, when school officials were under greater scrutiny about changing test scores.
Part 3: Here's where you turn to understand the big picture. Investigators outline why cheating occurred, detail the "culture of fear" that existed at APS, and probe allegations that school officials disregarded warnings or complaints about cheating. The school system's so-called "Blue Ribbon Commission" convened to investigate the cheating scandal and the business the community also receive some attention. Finally, the investigators reveal their findings.
Note: No charges have been filed against any of the people named in the state's report.
*courtesy of Creative Loafing
Michelle DeShields, M.Ed
Consult With ME Educational Consulting