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.