Nathan Deal, governor of Georgia, announced Tuesday that a case of widespread cheating in public schools across Atlanta skewed the results of 2009 state standardized test scores.
According to Huffington Post, after a two-year investigation, they concluded that cheating occurred within Atlanta Public Schools. They believe at least 44 of the 56 schools examined had participated in the cheating scandal. The report issued implicated 38 principals. About 178 educators pled the Fifth Amendment when questioned about the alleged cheating.
Eighty-two other educators admitted that they were witness to various ways of cheating. Cheating mainly included erasing wrong answers on students bubble sheets and filling in the correct answers.
The 2009 CRCT test demonstrated an overwhelming change in statistics for the schools, alerting officials to the problem. A summary of the report showed that cheating can be traced all the way back to 2001. The report also detailed the fact that although warnings of cheating surfaced in 2005, the warnings were basically ignored. The school system allegedly destroyed documents and provided false statements to cover up their wrongdoings.
As a result, it has been concluded that valid testing did not occur within Atlanta Public Schools. The governor believes that this is an important issue that needs to be addressed so that the school system as well as the state does not continue to have this dark cloud looming over its head.
Deal has forwarded the report to the appropriate officials so that it can be determined whether or not criminal charges should be pursued. The report demonstrated a bad consequence of the cheating for students. Those students who would have scored low on the tests failed to receive remedial education as a result of the false scores.
According to Robert Schaeffer, public education director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, standardized cheating has been on the increase in recent years.