0

List of accused CRCT cheaters include former teacher of year

Gloria Mosely was the 2009 teacher of the year for Westtown Elementary, the same year she is accused of promoting cheating

ALBANY, Ga. — The list of teachers and principals who were named in a state report Tuesday as having cheated on the 2009 CRCT exams include a former district teacher of the year for her school.

According to the report, Gloria Mosely, a teacher at Westtown Elementary, testified that she cheated at the direction of principal Alene Pringle who asked her to “look at the children’s answer sheets and make sure that most of them pass.” Mosely allegedly admitted to changing the math answers of her homeroom students.

The same year the cheating is alleged to have occurred, Mosely was named Westtown Elementary School’s teacher of the year.

Another high profile name on the list is that of Dougherty County Comprehensive High School Principal Jose Roquemore. At the time of the alleged cheating, Roquemore was principal at Morningside Elementary.

In the report, investigators stated “we conclude that Principal Roquemore violated O.C.G.A. § 20-2-989.20 by illegally ordering teachers to change students’ grades, or by coercing, intimidating or disciplining teachers for refusing to change students’ grades.

According to the report, Roquemore denied having knowledge of cheating when questioned by investigators. He reportedly said that Assistant Principal Maqueta Griswold handled all testing procedures and that “she was astute and good at her job.”

“He denied having access to where the tests were stored in 2009. He also denied directing or coercing teachers to change grades. He further denied prohibiting teachers from giving “low F’s.” Roquemore stated that he only encouraged teachers to work with students to help them raise their grades above failing,” the report states.

Mosley and Roquemore are just two of 49 names that were listed in the report. Many of the remaining teachers and principals are being represented by two local lawyers hired by the state’s two teachers unions to represent the teachers’ interests.

Howard Stiller, who is representing members of the Georgia Association of Educators, called the report “ambitious” and said that some of the conclusions that investigators drew from the investigation were unfounded.

“This entire report is based on a statistical analysis done on a computer outside the state of Georgia,” Stiller said. “The information that the report is based on, the original answer sheets, are locked 100 feet below ground in a bunker in Indiana and we’ll likely never get to see them.”

Stiller said that the burden now falls on the school system. It’s the system, he says, that will have to move to terminate anyone implicated in the report or to send information to the Professional Standards Commission should they want to revoke teaching credentials or to hand the case over to the district attorney should they feel laws were broken.

Christopher Cohilas, who is representing members of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, said that he’s thankful that many of his clients were cleared by the report, but said that he anticipates being contacted by school system officials about any of his clients who did make the list.

“Many of clients were cleared, but there are some who investigators have drawn some particular conclusions on,” Cohilas said. “I look forward to working with the school system on behalf of my clients after the report has been thoroughly reviewed.”

While the report clears former Superintendent Sally Whatley of any wrongdoing or complicity in the scandal, it places the lack of oversight and responsibility that created an environment rife for cheating on her and the board of education’s shoulders.

photo

Photo by J.D. Sumner

The report said, “During Dr. Whatley’s tenure, the tendency of some board members to micromanage, and Dr. Whatley’s unwillingness to prevent them from doing so, placed the Board and Superintendent relationship in an unbalanced position and weakened the authority of the Superintendent. Dr. Whatley abdicated the authority she needed to correct, sanction or terminate educators.

“Due to the Board’s failure to support the Superintendent, and her refusal to assert herself, she could not fully and effectively administer matters of employee discipline.

“This superintendent/board relationship led to an impotent system of employee discipline. We are aware of numerous situations that demanded prompt termination or other significant action. The administration and the board found 110 ways to avoid terminations and often reduced punishments to an absurd sanction.

The end result was a system where there was little fear of the consequences for wrongdoing, therefore misconduct went unabated,” the report states.

The report also chastises Dianne Daniels, the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, for being asleep at the wheel.

“While Daniels was the titular second-in-command and (testing coordinator Renee) Bridges fell under her supervision, she failed to involve herself in the testing process in any meaningful way. Her failure to actively participate in the oversight of the testing process helped create a leadership vacuum, and further empowered principals and teachers to act with a level of impunity whereby cheating occurred. Thus, she cannot absolve herself from contributing to the creation of an environment where this misconduct could fester,” the report says.

Comments

herewegoagain 2 years, 4 months ago

Make sure she gets the needed publicity that goes along with the cheating scandal that she got when she won the teacher of the year award. Never ceases to amaze me at what some will do!!!

0

waltspecht 2 years, 4 months ago

If they were cheating, so be it. They had a choice, either be smart enough to catch the Principal on tape or video and turn it over to the media, or simply do the right thing and say no and report his actions. If you went along, you made the choice to join in and should be dealt with accordingly. A lot of this report, including that part about the old Superintendant, seems to be trying to make excuses for all participants. There are no excuses for the abuse of the Public Trust, and actually doing your job. Sorry, we weren't paying them to cheat, nor were we paying the Superintendant to cowtaw to the School Board. Wonder what that trip they gave her was a payoff for? Keeping her mouth shut about what she knew?

0

makinfl 2 years, 4 months ago

It is time for all of them to resign. The union once again steps in to defend the people who either lied or knew about it and did nothing. The state needs to pull their certificates or other school systems will have then corrupting their schools. If criminal they need to be in jail. The super knew or should have known when he came onboard, and yet he stated nothing was going on.

0

AuntieDee 2 years, 3 months ago

How could a man just coming into a job have known what happened before he got there. C'mon...really now? Lets be fair (and sensible) here. Surely you meant that the immediate past superintendent should have known. That sounds a little more logical eventhough it is impossible for her have known as well.

0

Spike 2 years, 3 months ago

REALLY? Murfree didn't just fall off of the turnip truck. He's been in Albany and involved in education for a while. Not to mention his hiring was done behind closed doors and in a shroud of secrecy. Fire them ALL! Let Murfree reapply for the job in an OPEN HIRING process so the public can see.

0

AuntieDee 2 years, 3 months ago

Yes, Spike, REALLY!!!!! Sounds like you fell off the turnip truck or is it that you don't know the difference between public school education and the collegiate world, which Dr. Murphree was in before coming to the public school system. Just because he was an educator at the university doesn't mean he knew what was happening in the public school system. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other. Let me break it down so the simple-minded can understand. You, Spike, worked at Burger King before taking a manager's position at McDonalds. A big scandal broke-out about employees dropping burgers on the floor at every McDonalds and serving them to customers. Then somebody stupid posts in a Herald blog that Spike and everyone at McDonalds should be FIRED. Is that simple enough for you or are comparisons to complicated for you, too? Need I break it down even further?

0

Tekateka1 2 years, 4 months ago

There are always two sides to every story. No one wants to hear that teachers cheat and as far as I know no one took money with the exception of the one administrator who enrolled their child in a low income program- which was far more abusive of the system..

All used very bad judgement. It is unfortunate that the program, No Child Left Behind put terrible pressure on people's jobs. No one wanted to lose their job! It also goes without saying that the teaching profession is not easy.

I would have proposed that the teachers teach the test. I really thought that was what was being done throughout the US. But changing responses on the test--that was a very poor response. Preparation should have been made throughout the entire year-not panic at the end!

0

Spike 2 years, 3 months ago

No one took money????? Really.... What would you call a paycheck? Educators don't educate for free.

0

leenow 2 years, 4 months ago

Seems like I remember Angela Shumate getting some awards as well a few years ago. How about investigating her history. She was at Morningside for a couple of years as assistant. Seems like Northside got recognition as well as Shumate.

0

AuntieDee 2 years, 3 months ago

Wrong...Angela Shumate was never an assistant at Morningside. You may want to get your facts straight before posting what you think you know.

0

gmc1221 2 years, 3 months ago

If she was ever at Morningside then it was well before any cheating scandal went on. My child is a 6th year Northside student (from K - 5) and Dr. Shumate has been the principal there the entire time up until this school year. The school is now run by Griswold who is, in fact, mentioned in the article. So, sorry, I think you're wrong on that one. And are you saying that just because an administrator is recognized for doing good work, then they should be investigated?? That is a bit ridiculous and ignorant.

0

Cartman 2 years, 4 months ago

Simple: Their employment should be terminated immediately. They should be criminally prosecuted. They should never be entrusted with the education of students again. They should forfeit their pensions.

1

Sister_Ruby 2 years, 3 months ago

New Award: Cheater of the Year! Wins an all expense paid trip to Las Vegas where they can learn about Probability and Statistics first hand! Just bet the Future of Your Students at the Roulette Wheel. It's the best bet you can make in Vegas but it's a lot better chance than you gave the Chilllrennnssss.

0

Effetecorpseofimpudentsnobs 2 years, 3 months ago

It sounds to me like the incestuous nest of corruption is nothing short of a RICO case which should be initiated on behalf of students and citizens of Dougherty against the DCSB and administration. It is certainly a racket, it is an association and it is criminal. Civil or Criminal it could and should be filed. I doubt the local DA has the courage to do it.

1

KaosinAlbany 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm sure the DA will recuse himself from this also. Perhaps that will be for the best if he does.

1

FlunkyMonkey 2 years, 3 months ago

*“This superintendent/board relationship led to an impotent system of employee discipline. We are aware of numerous situations that demanded prompt termination or other significant action. The administration and the board found 110 ways to avoid terminations and often reduced punishments to an absurd sanction.

The end result was a system where there was little fear of the consequences for wrongdoing, therefore misconduct went unabated,” the report states.*

Isn't this still going on? I seem to recall several instances in the not to distant past were school system employees were terminated or placed on leave without pay for wrong doing only to have the PRESENT school board/superintendent change the punishment to a slap on the wrist. Until this part of the equation is changed and employees forced to accept the punishment for their wrongdoing, this will happen again. There needs to be a shake up from the very top to the very bottom.

0

herewegoagain 2 years, 3 months ago

Auntie Dee must be one of the guilty parties....

0

AuntieDee 2 years, 3 months ago

Here you go again with stupidity and ignorance. No, I am not one of the guilty ones. I am one that posts facts and not accusations. I don't place the blame where it is not deserved. I am not racist, bias, or small-minded like some folks who post in this blog. Only people with closed, narrow minds would accuse a person without facts. I don't know Dr. Murphree personally but I've read enough in the nespwspaper and have seen enough newsclips to know that Dr. Whatley said she takes full responsibilty for the cheating scandal. Why not, it happened under her watch. So why give Murphree the flack? He inherited this mess. Now, I do know Shumate personally and I know that she wasn't the assistant principal at Morningside. She was a classroom teacher there. You should get your facts straight before you open your big mouth. Now for the record, I don't condone cheating or any illegal activity. If these people are guilty, they need whatever punishment the crime warrants.

0

retirededucator 2 years, 3 months ago

As a retired educator, this situation, both in Dougherty Co. and Atlanta is appalling. These educators should loose teacher certification and retirement benefits. It makes me mad to see that some of the admins/teachers in Atlanta, drawing $125,000+ salaries, retired and will now draw retirement for the rest of their life. There is no excuse for this type of behavior - it makes an emphatic statement that everyone who is currently in the classroom does NOT have the student's education as their primary objective.

0

Shinedownfan 2 years, 3 months ago

As I read the list to my husband, he said, "It's weird hearing their names without 'Dr.' in front of them." So, these principals have doctorate degrees and make the BIG bucks... don't they know, with their doctorate status, it is wrong to cheat and lie?

0

TrixibelleBento 2 years, 3 months ago

I wonder how many on the list are at work today.

0

TrixibelleBento 2 years, 3 months ago

Duh, I forgot that one! I keep forgetting that it's Christmas.

0

chinaberry25 2 years, 3 months ago

I heard one teacher say that why are they picking on DCSS. It is going on in all the small counties and they do not get checked. Maybe they should. As far as awards go, Alice Coachman's principal when to Washington DC and the governor came down to see the teaching methods at that school. That may be what the above person was thinking. Accolades were written up about this school in the Albany Herald featuring several teachers. Egg on our face now. DCSS will save money this half year using their assistant principals and be careful in their selection of new principals.

0

WeAreThey 2 years, 3 months ago

While the acts of these educators are outrageous, the report clearly lays the blame on the 2008/2009 school board members. Some of these members far overstepped their governance boundaries, as prescribed by law, and apparently took it upon themselves to act as part-time superintendents. The initial result was a complete undermining of the effectiveness of the person we taxpayers paid to actually manage the DCSS. The net result was the debacle we are facing today.

Whether the actions of these board members were motivated by personal beliefs, politics or egomania, is irrelevant. It was just wrong. It was not the job for which they were elected. So, Rev. Bush is spot on when he talks about people resigning. Common sense and decency demand that this include the school board members who were alluded to in the report to the Governor. They know who they are.

And, we, the voters of this county, should be mortified that yet another high-level government agency has had to step in and attempt to protect our interests from the actions of people who are accountable to US.

0

rodneyrouse 2 years, 3 months ago

AuntieDee what hamburger joint is Spike working at....I'm going to eat chicken wings for a while, I think.

0

Spike 2 years, 3 months ago

:-) That's good. I like that one. Dr. Murfree was hired under a shroud of secrecy. The board should be removed and the Superintendent job should be recompeted. Dr. Murfree can apply under the new school board and an OPEN forum with no secrecy. If he's the best candidate for the job rather than the ONLY one then so be it. It's a clean slate and if he's selected he can draw on it.

Besides rodney, I cook chicken. :-)

0

Margie 2 years, 3 months ago

It still amazes me how most are attacking the teachers, principals and school board, and noone daring to discuss Sally Whatley's involvement. She may not have known what the principals directed the teachers to do, but when she reviewed the report of those test scores, red flag should have been waving all around her, The report skips all around, but holding her accountable. If these teachers and principals sink, did she should sink with them. There is no excuse in this mess for anyone. Blame is everywhere. As for Murfree and the cheating, this mess does not belong to him. He has his own mess to deal with, and I hope he learns fast. He needs to do his job on behalf of the students and taxpayers, and not the board. If they decide to fire him for doing the right thing, so be it. Parents, students and taxpayers will support someone standing up for the right thing and for students. Whately can't be fired, she already gone, and the investigators made certain that she come smelling like a rose. If the borad tied her hands from dealing with anything that was illegal, then she should have gone to the DA. Just maybe if she had has some backbone, some of these teachers would have felt comfortable reporting the problems that they were having with their principals. Now, if Murfree had been in charge doing this time, I know that the report would have read differently for him, and we all know that to be true. The man is being blamed now, and he wasn't in charge at the time. Furthermore, the report could not have given him a chance, and this lame excuse that was reported for Whately would not have been so for him. Now, I DO NOT favor Murfree at all, the second applicant should have been selected, but the truth is the truth.

0

Sign in to comment