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CRCT report points to 'acceptance of wrong-doing' in DCSS

Investigators' report accuses 49 principals and teachers of cheating

ALBANY — State investigators who have spent the past four months conducting an intense probe of CRCT erasure cheating within the Dougherty County School System delivered their final report to school board attorney Tommy Coleman Monday.

The first paragraph of the 293-page report, which was given to Gov. Nathan Deal Monday morning, reads: "The disgraceful situation we found in the Dougherty County School System is a tragedy, sadly illustrated by a fifth grade teacher who said one of her students could not read, yet did well on the CRCT.

"What we found was an acceptance of wrong-doing, a pattern of incompetence and a lack of will to correct it."

The document names 49 principals and teachers involved in test erasures during 2009.

The report adds: "Sally Whatley (Former DCSS Superintendent) is ultimately responsible."

With 49 people named in Dougherty, the results will be 15 to 20 percent higher proportionally than the percentage of school system employees caught up in the Atlanta schools cheating scandal.

The report is currently in possession of Coleman, who will make copies and distribute then to Dougherty County School Board members tomorrow.

"I'd really love to make a comment, but I don't know what's in it (the report)," DCSS School Board Chairman James Bush said. "I know it's coming, but I have yet to see the report."

The investigation into the exams administered to first- through eighth-graders in Atlanta and Dougherty County began in August 2010 at the direction of then-Gov. Sonny Perdue. At issue is the number of erasures on the 2009 CRCTs in which wrong answers were corrected.

State officials were concerned that at some of the schools there were too many of those corrections, and eventually focused on Atlanta and Dougherty County.

The findings of state investigations into Atlanta’s school districts were announced July 5. Among other things, the governor’s report found cheating in 44 of the 56 Atlanta schools examined and said that 178 teachers and principals in the schools had been involved in the cheating or should have known it was going on.

A preliminary probe in February of last year flagged the 56 Atlanta schools. Dougherty County had the state’s second-highest number flagged at 14.

Investigators, who began their Dougherty probe in earnest in early August, eventually focused on 11 DCSS elementary schools and said that evidence of cheating was found at all 11 schools.

Comments

TheBoss 2 years, 11 months ago

"15 to 20 percent higher proportionally than the percentage of school system employees caught up in the Atlanta schools cheating scandal," we just do it better.

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bubbavet 2 years, 11 months ago

"A fifth grade teacher who said one of her students could not read, yet did well on the CRCT." THAT MY FRIEND SAYS IT ALL. GO ASU GRADUATES

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 11 months ago

That teacher probably came from VSU.....

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 11 months ago

"Acceptance of wrong-doing, a pattern of incompetence and a lack of will to correct it."

Will all that writing fit on the new Welcome to Albany signs?

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LuLu 2 years, 11 months ago

Really. "The Good Life City" motto wasn't really working for us anymore, anyway. This is MUCH more fitting. It'll look great on a t-shirt.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 11 months ago

Wow, something to be proud of. We beat out ATL.

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Albanite 2 years, 11 months ago

"-acceptance of wrong-doing, a pattern of incompetence and a lack of will to correct it."
Now which Albany "culture" does that reflect?

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Amazed2 2 years, 11 months ago

It is really SAD that Albany has worked so hard to become the 4th poorest city in the nation (based on the number of people on goverment benefits vs. population) and now we are able to beat out Atlanta percentage wise in the CRCT CHEATING Game. Guess the 5th Grade Teacher with students that could NOT read was Dumb enough to think nobody would notice how well little Johnnie did on the CRCT examination if She helped him a little. I know there are other teachers and principals and administrative level people involved in this CRCT Cheating but Why would you need a tribunal panel to decide the fated of this 5th Grade teacher. I guess though if #34 gets his way She will get 10 days off without pay since she did not steal the Lunch Money at least not yet. Wow no wonder there are so many For Sale signs here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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swallace 2 years, 11 months ago

From the way I read it, the 5th grade teacher was one that brought this to someone's attention. Not one that was involved in the cheating.

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news4thenews 2 years, 11 months ago

That is true, but there were others who brought attention to this situation as well. The way it was written in the paper makes everyone interviewed look guilty. The miskewed part about it is there were at least 6 people placed in this report who did nothing wrong, but the other people who were interviewed and did do wrong were not placced in the report. WHY did the whole report not be placed in the paper, if they're telling the truth.

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rerobinson 2 years, 11 months ago

GLORIA BAKER DID NOT MISS ANY DAYS WITHOUT PAY!

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Amazed2 2 years, 11 months ago

I don't care what color the teachers are the administrators or the students but the real tradgedy is that the system is passing kids along to the next grade that cannot even read a very basic book. Forget the Lunch Money the system is stealing BASIC EDUCATION from our children. All of those administrators and teachers that passed this 5th grade child along from 1st grade forward should be evaluated. If he needed help and could not read he certainly did not and was not getting it. The teachers and administrators were moving him along to make the system look better than what it is. I am sure he is not the only child being moved along when he either needs to be held back or put into a special needs program. By the way where the heck are the PARENTS in this deal too. I guess they don't care if the 5th grade chid cannot read.

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Amazed2 2 years, 11 months ago

Well I guess once old #34 of #35 applicants (Mr. Murfree) has a chance to read the final CRCT report we will all know his master plan to fix the cheating scandal but I would like to know how he plans to fix the system to get basic education to the children. I mean heck it is reall worse than we thought. After all they have been ":Cooking" the grades so the kids are really worse off than we thought. God Help US!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know he has not been on the job but a couple years but I would have hoped he could have figured some of this out on his on without a Special Investigation from the Governors office to tell him just how bad it really is. They need to forget what systems that are in place and start fresh because they have not and are not working.

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Amazed2 2 years, 11 months ago

Just thinking here the 5th Grade teacher said her student could not read. Whatley was on duty 2 years ago so she shares some of that blame but. Since it have been 2 years ago that is just now being investigated does this mean that the 5th Grader that could not read 2 years ago is now in the 7th grade. I hope not but my guess is he was moved along soon to enter middle school with little to no reading skills. Is that possible???????????

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Cartman 2 years, 11 months ago

The truth is refreshing. It's nice to hear it every once in awhile. Thank you CRCT Investigation Team! Your efforts, tenaciousness, and courage serves you well and is much appreciated by many in Dougherty County. Merry Christmas!

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whattheheck 2 years, 11 months ago

And to think the Governor had to be talked into letting the crew come to Albany--obviously had bought off on the DCSS claim of "everything is beautiful" after its internal "investigation". What a damn joke. Don't I recall Tommy Coleman making the pronouncement of system innocence? I think when the time comes for contract renewal, we need to look for another lawyer who isn't as easily duped.

When Sally Whatley resigned suddenly followed by announcement the State was starting its work with the CRCT erasures, it wasn't much of a leap to see she was getting out of Dodge before the Sheriff showed up, knowing a gunfight would ensue. She knew it was going on but didn't have the guts to take on the purps.

Taxpayers and parents in Dougherty County have a right to be furious with this one. The ones who were caught were not the only ones doing it. And then we follow this jewel up with the "Great Free Lunch Debacle"! Now, tell me again, how is it we are going to lure people to live in Albany? Sure looks like we have a lot to offer, doesn't it--if what we hope to lure is more taxpayers who have jobs and like their children. Good Life City my fanny!

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ObjectiveEyes 2 years, 11 months ago

"...how is it we are going to lure people to live in Albany?" Why don't we try spend $600k on some new signs at the city limits and a couple million to spruce up the airport terminal? Yeah! That should do it!

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Abytaxpayer 2 years, 11 months ago

"What we found was an acceptance of wrong-doing, a pattern of incompetence and a lack of will to correct it." Unfortunately Lying Cheating and Stealing is a way of life that is taught by example by so many in Albany. Even sadder is that it is widely accepted by so many here, i.e. “the bill of clean health the system gave itself after its own probe” and top that off with the lack of peer and public pressure for Riggins and Baker to resign after being caught stealing funds that should be going to families who truly need the funds. The students who can not read, yet did well on the CRCT are the true losers here. Guess if they can’t get a quality education they are at least learning how to have no morals and self respect and how to work the system that will be forced to support them for the rest of their lives. With examples like Riggins, Baker, #34, The 49ers and toss in few of the DCSS broad members how can we expert Albany to raise anything more than just the same. “Quality in Quality out”.

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Jimboob 2 years, 11 months ago

If it is allowed to exist it will exist. WE the people get what WE accept!

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whattheheck 2 years, 11 months ago

One thing noticed over the years is a feeling on the part of many that stealing from the government--at any level--is not really stealing. Hence, there is no peer pressure since there is no perception a theft even occurred.

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waltspecht 2 years, 11 months ago

It is time not to renew the contracts of a lot of people in this system, beyond the 49. We are a right to work State and there is no recourse.

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ObjectiveEyes 2 years, 11 months ago

Unfortunately, with the teachers union, bad educators don't get fired, they simply get shifted from one school to another, from one position to another. It happens in Albany, it happens in Lee County, it happens everywhere. I have a close relationship with the LC system and often wonder, "...if the Lee system is this screwed up, I cannot imagine how bad the DOCO system is..."

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whattheheck 2 years, 11 months ago

I agree, Eye, it basically doesn't happen. But I also know how difficult it is said to be to get rid of federal workers. The Marine base didn't seem to have a problem getting rid of folks when they wanted to--you know, those who weren't friends. One thing for sure, you can't give them good performance appraisals and then try to fire. The hardest part of the process is likely overcoming the friend barrier--and the racial barrier.

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waltspecht 2 years, 11 months ago

Basically that is why a yearly contract was instituted, to make it easier to remove teachers that need to go. Same thing with administrators. It has to be done at the current contracts termination, and no reason for non-renewal has to be specified. That tends to avoid Court challenges. Hopefully DCCS wasn't dumb enopugh to modify the contract to provide protection for renewal.

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Martian 2 years, 11 months ago

A sad day among many for the Detroit of the South.

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Outtahere 2 years, 11 months ago

I know we are discussing the probe into the CRCT scandal however, when I read the part about a fifth grader that doesn't know how to read, I shifted my blame to the parent!! What parent is so uninvolved in their child's education that they allow this??? I'm sure that the teacher is like "Well, if his parents don't care then I don't get paid enough to spend so much time getting him caught up!" Seriously, that fifth grade teacher is not the reason he can't read - his parents are!!!! What lazy, sorry parents!!!!! And as for the horrible excuse of educational staff, well, even as low as they seem in our eyes right now, they are probably a better role model than what these kids have at home!!!!!

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whattheheck 2 years, 11 months ago

Sorry parents for sure but with all the problems in the DCSS, how can one get a wrong righted regardless of what it is? Look at the lunch issue--out and out fraud, folks are man and the system, drumroll please, does nothing.

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Jimboob 2 years, 11 months ago

Between this and the "free school lunch" issue you have to ask yourself "What are we teaching our kids?" Albany will never get better and good jobs will never come it we allow this to go uncorrected. If the current administration could not find problems with their investigation then they will be part of the problem not part of the solution. We will continue to loose out and move from 4th to 3rd to second or we will correct the problems and move forward.

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Black_Falcon 2 years, 11 months ago

Albany has a plethora of problems and at the top of this list is its poor and ineffective school system. Poor schools lead to poor academic achievement. Poor academic achievement leads to high crime rates. High crime rates lead to law abiding citizens moving away, thus lowing tax revenue. This downward cycle continues, but most intelligent readers get the point I am making by now. What’s troubling about Albany is there never seems to be any consequences to people committing these offenses. Remember Judge Weaver? So, with no consequences, it is doubtful that anything will ever change.

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AuntieDee 2 years, 11 months ago

Yeah I remember Weaver? Do you remember Claire Fox Hilliard? He was running around naked in Camilla. I wondered what consequences he suffered.

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SMHgain 2 years, 11 months ago

Is Hilliard a public employee, whose salary is paid by the taxpayers??

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rock 2 years, 11 months ago

I think AuntieDee s looking for a black/white issue so she can deny this SCANDAL in DCSS is a black issue!!!!

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Spike 2 years, 11 months ago

If we really want to fix this problem and we don’t need to care about where people find work then the school board needs to be replaced ENTIRELY! The Leadership from the Superintendent down to the Vice Principals GONE! Teachers that could be directly proven to have cheated either by having a child change the score or they changed them GONE! If we REALLY wanted to fix this problem there would be more than 49 people without a job.
Unfortunately too many will be more concerned with the problem that this drastic action would take on the perpetrators. They’ll be squawking about the 49 People with mortgages and bills like all of us. “Of course they obviously lack some morals but they have families too.” will be their motto.
While there is part of me that agrees with the King Richard philosophy "Off with their heads" there is another part of me that understands (a little bit) the squawks above. Some of the 49 should be fired immediately (perhaps they will resign before given the pink slip to save face and maybe find another job in some other school system); The rest should be severely reprimanded, fined and put on some sort of probation that allows no more room for any future moral lapses.
If the amount of money spent per pupil for public school is greater than the amount spent on private school then why aren’t the results better or at least equal?

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justme 2 years, 11 months ago

Maybe Murfree can just give all the kids who are unable to read and write a diploma because the teachers just pushed them to the next grade, you know like the ones who got theirs for being arrested.

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TheBoss 2 years, 11 months ago

I read the Report Vol 1&2. Hope sombody will read it to Junebug cause the only thing he will do is look at the pictures.

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Amazed2 2 years, 11 months ago

Game Score: Junebug 0, Murfree 34, DCSS 49

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Amazed2 2 years, 11 months ago

Why is JuneBug the only DCSS Board Member that does not list any level of education in his DCSS Member Profile??????????????????????????

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waltspecht 2 years, 11 months ago

Because it is obvious the voters don't care. As one of them said in the past, he held fish frys for them after the flood. More than enough credentials to get elected to the School Board. By the way, did he ever repay his entire small business loan he got to rebuild that little delapidated store into the Mini Shopping Center? Dumb he isn't.

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waltspecht 2 years, 11 months ago

Wonder how much he made on that deal when it sold?

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herewegoagain 2 years, 11 months ago

He pocketed all the proceeds from the sale, was awarded a minority contract, and a SBA loan on top of it all.

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herewegoagain 2 years, 11 months ago

I want to see the names of those accused with their credentials. As in where they went to elementary, middle school, high school, college, and grad school. I want to the public to see where the accused teachers got their education so those of us that are honest and try to do the right thing can avoid the schools that allow such teachers to graduate. I have a feeling if they cheated the students in 2009 they probably cheated their way through also.

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AuntieDee 2 years, 11 months ago

What does where these people went to school have to do with anything. I saw the list and several of them got their two year start from Darton. I suppose Darton laid the foundation for them.

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waltspecht 2 years, 11 months ago

No, the foundation was laid for them by their Parents. Early school experience would have formed their study, work ethic and cheating habits long before College. Just human nature. The majority will only go to the level called for, not strive to exceed it. The low expectations Parents and Society have laid out for these people is what produced their attitude and honesty. As much as people seem to like to remove Church, Religion and Parenting from life, thats whay used to establish a moral compass.

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herewegoagain 2 years, 11 months ago

I did not single out any school names. I want them all to be exposed if they are guilty. It all begins in the home in the early stages of developement, but when they are not getting it at home for whatever reason they should be good role models in the school system that will show them the proper way. Entitlement has to end. These teachers thought that if they met the mandated goals they would keep their jobs. Now they get caught cheating and think they are entilted to keep their jobs and pensions.

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Amazed2 2 years, 11 months ago

Well I guess the latest DCSS scandal expains why a lot of the young adults from DCSS cannot read, write and do basic math. The problem now seems to be more systemic than individual teachers. If you continually "Lower the Bar" vs. "Raising the Bar" yes they are all included but in WHAT. All included in Failure instead of Success".

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Amazed2 2 years, 11 months ago

Just for the record other systems such as Lee County are putting more and more pressure on the Teachers to be sure Little Johnnie passes even though he does not want to do his work but not to the extent of cheating the CRCT. The parents in Lee County do often blame the teacher when Little Johnnie gets a Zero or a grade that the parents are not happy about. The same parents that did not and do not make Little Johnnie do his homework or study or complete his class project are the same ones that call the Principal and complain about the teacher when report cards go out. I am sure the DCSS is putting pressure on teachers to pass the children but apparently the DCSS in some schools at least are OK with Cheating if necessary to get the results needed.

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AuntieDee 2 years, 11 months ago

I bet if the state looked a little closer at Lee County they may find that some of their teachers cheated also. Little Johnnie's parents were probably the ones that were running that Meth Lab in Lee County. They were too busy cooking up drugs instead of helping lil Johnnie with his homework/project.

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rock 2 years, 11 months ago

parents can do so much with homework, The way I was taught college algebra and the way these children are taught HS algebra is different. I had 3 children in Lee County schools and struggled to help them at home due to new and improved teaching methods, 5 to 6 hours of home work x 3 left me and my children exhausted. I am educated and struggled, what about those that never graduated from HS or dropped out, and have to help with home work. This under education in this area goes back generations. Let's face it most parents think there child is on the fast track if they go to Darton, when Darton is still a 2 year facility and most of the children never go futher. Darton is teachin a level these kids should have gotten in the repsective HS.

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