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Principals who invoked their Fifth Amendment rights during CRCT investigation identified

ALBANY, Ga. — Richard Hyde, one of three special investigators looking into Criterion-Referenced Competency Test cheating in 11 Dougherty County elementary schools, said Tuesday that investigators still have “two or three interviews remaining,” and that the team plans to have a final report on Gov. Nathan’s Deal’s desk by Thanksgiving.

In addition, The Albany Herald has learned the names three school principals who invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during recent interviews.

According to sources familiar to the investigation, the three are Jackson Heights Principal Lazoria Brown, Martin Luther King Principal Carolyn Scott and West Town Principal Alene Pringle.

School Board Chairman James Bush said school system attorney Tommy Coleman was in the process of putting together a list of potential administrative tribunal members who will determine the fate of administrators and teachers named in the report.

“The superintendent (Joshua Murfree) will select the members of the tribunal,” Bush said. “The tribunal will return a list of names and recommendations and the board will act upon that basis.”

Coleman confirmed that he had a list of 10 to 15 names of potential tribunal members to present to the superintendent. He added that it was likely that no residents of Dougherty County would be included on the panel.

Coleman added that the tribunal would probably not be empaneled until early January, after the holiday season.

Investigator Mike Bowers said earlier this month that as many as 10 principals and 50 teachers could be named in the report. Those who do not resign will likely face the tribunal.

Two weeks ago, Murfree acknowledged for the first time that some school administrators and teachers will probably lose their jobs.

“We are prepared; we’re not just sitting around waiting on the final report,” Murfree said then. “We are on point and ready to take action, but we are also not going to just throw anyone under the bus.”

At that time Murfree’s unveiled his initial blueprint for dealing with the crisis.

The plan, entitled “The CRCT: The Proactive Stance For Achievement,” lists eight areas of focus: among them identifying the possibility of lost positions; preparing the community; holding news conferences to keep students, teachers, administrators and the community updated; and moving forward in the probe’s aftermath.

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

State officials were concerned that at some schools in Atlanta and Dougherty County there were unusually high numbers of corrections. The findings of state investigations into Atlanta’s schools 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.

Dougherty County had the state’s second-highest number of flagged schools with 14, more than half of the system’s 26 schools. The probe narrowed the focus to 11 elementary schools.

CRCT investigators, bolstered by 15 special agents from the GBI, began the DCSS investigation in early August and wrapped up the probe’s initial phase last month.

Comments

cdeiter1 3 years, 2 months ago

why is anyone in Dougherty county surprised.

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supersquawker 3 years, 2 months ago

Strap on your bow-ties and jock straps and grab your ankles!

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rock 3 years, 2 months ago

Murfree is a joke..He will recommend a slap on the wrist, laugh it off as "Who really cares" and the children of dougherty county will county to receive a substandard education. Fire everyone involved and if you invoke the 5th you are fired now.

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waltspecht 3 years, 2 months ago

Why wait until after the Holidays? These folks weren't doing anyone but themselves a favor when they committed the offense, so why should the system show them any consideration?

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coachjohnson42 3 years, 2 months ago

You guys are cold-blooded. If those teachers cheated for those kids, then they are crazy because they dont get any incentives to do so. They dont get any pay raises, no trophys, no medal of honors, not even a pat on the back. So, that was dumb, but firing them to make you guys happy is a poor solution also. (you guys meaning the "modern day lynch mob")

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waltspecht 3 years, 1 month ago

As Baretta used to say, "You do the crime, you do the time." Just how did the Teachers abetting cheating help those kids? The only thing it appeared to help would be the School Systems rating, and the continuesd employment of those Teachers.

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supersquawker 3 years, 2 months ago

Coach pull the race card. Such an innovative move! coach stupid, got not argument, no logical point/counter point. coach......think a few steps down the road. What you want to do with them cheaters? Probably give them a raise, maybe a promotion to Admin, maybe a couple of weeks extra vacation with pay. Why not just stay home for the next ten years with full pay and benefits? Yeah! They deserve it because racist folk like me don't agree with getting something for NOTHING!

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coachjohnson42 3 years, 1 month ago

I never mentioned anything about race you "supersquawking psycho". I dont know the color of those teachers involved. I just dont think the school system should fire them just to satisfy the "blood thirsty" people on the outside of the system who sit back and unfairly criticize the system as a whole. The DCSS has some good people in it. But you wouldnt know that if you simply read the squawkbox all the time.

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truthsayer 3 years, 1 month ago

What a retard, and I surely hope you're not a real coach. Alot of people use the term Dr., and I'm just wondering if that's your alias too. It seems that you may be part of the problem also, denial with no retaliation for the offenders, what a complete idiot.

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Justice4Moma 3 years ago

I agree with much of what you said.But to me the word RETARD is just as bad as using race.(not saying you used the race card) just saying i do not like that word being used.But that is just me i guess.Yet i do think the DR.remark was right on the dot.

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LuLu 3 years, 1 month ago

You don't think the cheaters should be fired? Suppose you owned a business and found out your employees were cheating you somehow. Can you honestly say you wouldn't fire them?

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supersquawker 3 years, 1 month ago

"Lynch mob" is code for racist punishment. You know it, I know it and everybody else knows it.

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bubbavet 3 years, 1 month ago

"CORCH' JOHNSON42 JUST REAFFIRMS WHAT EVERYONE WITH ANY SMARTS KNOWS ABOUT AGONY, GA. AND THE PEOPLE RUNNING IT. "HE DON'T KNOW THE COLOR OF THE TEACHERS". I WISH HE HAD A LIE DETECTOR ON HIM WHEN HE SAID THAT AND IT SHOCKED THE CRAP OUT OF HIM. WHAT A FOOL.

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billybob 3 years, 1 month ago

Co'mon coach! Of course you know the color of the principals from the article. And I am quite certain there is an incentive to ensure one's students pass this test. These teachers and administrators must go. The real challenge is going to be filling the posts with qualified, ethical and talented replacements. People of good caliber, ability and character typically don't like working for poorly-run organizations like the Dougherty County School System. Things won't improve until new board members are elected, and that will not happen as the constituents of these incompetent board members are more concerned with the race of the board member than the ability.

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tocar 3 years, 1 month ago

Whatever the end results of the investigation reports reflect, the bottom line is that our school employees should have the best interest of their students at any time. If students are weak in any subject, these areas need to be addressed. A child cannot learn if we don't allow them to learn. Changing answers does not help the child. The adults involved in any cheating need to be removed from the classroom and the school system. Parents should raise their children in a morally good home and should know what their children are doing in school. Parents need to be more involved. Teachers need to be honest and committed to teaching the right way. The Dougherty County School Board needs to go too.

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rock 3 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like CoachJohnson is in on the cheating scandal and is just another bigoted racisit himself. Black or white he is the same bigoted jackass he says he wants to ID.

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coachjohnson42 3 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like Rock, Bubbavet, and others are just examples of the ignorance that plague the areas around South Georgia. Race has nothing to do with this story. There are many different types of people involved in this scandal. You just assume the people involved are BLACK. Some of them could be WHITE.....ever thought of that??? Dr. Whatley was the Superintendent in charge when the cheating started.......and I believe she is WHITE....I dont hear you jumping down her throat.......hmmmmm..... .So, get off the race card again. This has nothing to do with race.

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shredex3 3 years, 1 month ago

Coachjohnson42, you are exactly right about the fact race has nothing to do with this situation. However the idiots on the school board really need to go, all of them and start over. Mr. Murfree, notice I do not respect him enough to call him Dr. needs to get his head out of his $%^ and judge the situations he controls by the content and should not even look at the race of a person. Unfortunately, he and others on the school board refuse to do their duties we elected them to do. Oh that's right we didn't elect Mr. Murfree he was "voted" in. I might add, voted in with a straight face.

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budcollier1956 3 years, 1 month ago

Look at the whole picture. Georgia test scores are down compared to the rest of the country partly in fact to poor schools systems and the demographics of the State's population. The State demands local schools to improve yet giving no means or methods to confront the underlying problems. The local school board demands of principals and principals demands of teachers, teaches demands of unresponsive students. The only and most immediate response is not to educate but to teach test taking methods, the most expediate means to meeting test scores is to cheat or force test results. Fact is many, many Dougherty County children are under educated, under disciplined, non educatable in the present state much as a result of a culture and an environment which is perpetuated generation after generation and will be to generations to come. The soluton is not to "educate". Until the culture, mind set changes educaton cannot, will never take place. The system demands of impotent schools what cannot be produced in an unwilling culture. Throughout the system students are forced passed through the system learning little, they get to local colleges, unprepared, undisciplined, taking remedial courses, looking to be supportd by free gov't grants, demanding that they get a free pass in courses without fulfilling requirements, doing work or learning the material. Professors under threat of the administration, racism, budget and every form of excuse, pass them on, to get the numbers and dollars just like the process which began in grade 1. When we wake up to see that the system as well as the culture is fatally diseased, then perhaps someone of fortitude will lead to the hard solutions. For now we burn the principal and fire the janitor, two which are little responsible and only surviving. What we need to start a solution is correct both ends of this donkey; slap some sense in the face of the Lesgislator and kick the a__ of sorry parents.

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justme 3 years, 1 month ago

One can only surmise that all those involved in this scandal are products of a failed system. As they continue to support this failed system they somehow fail to realize that the future of southwest Georgia will stay the same as it it today and has been for years. The fault lies with race relations, starting with white people who never cared about black education and after their struggle black people who continued to not care but lined their pockets at the cost of their own.

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mafowler 3 years ago

What all of you are missing which is caused by your ignorance is that those teachers did not do that on their own...It was the previous administration who all of a sudden retired. She put a lot of pressure to make her schools the top schools; therefore making the teachers stress about their outcomes. I am an educator, so I know how it works in the system. It is no more about education, but politics. What Murfee is dealing with is the work from the previous superintendent. Now, what they did was wrong, but let's know how it really works and don't put your ignorance in print.

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Justice4Moma 3 years ago

We as taxpayers have a right to make our voice's heard.After all we(well some of us just voted them more splost money)Then Murfree said he will handle it all without anyones help.That is so wrong,and he should be the first to go,then the liars and cheaters. We are to help our children,they come first.They are what counts.And if i am going to have to pay school tax and i have no children,then i and the rest of us should have a say so. Letting them get away with things is what is wrong with Albany.We have let to many get away with to much for to long.It is all of our faults for letting it keep going on.Put a stop to it all now.Nip it in the BUD.

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