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Deadline looming for CRCT discipline

ALBANY, Ga. -- May 15 is looming as an important day for the Dougherty County School System. That’s the day that teacher contracts for the 2012-13 school year automatically renew — including more than 40 teachers who are currently awaiting administrative tribunal hearings in the wake of the governor’s CRCT cheating investigation.

But there is an added twist, If the contracts of the 44 are automatically renewed, the school system could lose the right to discipline them entirely.

The only way to prevent this possibility is if DCSS Superintendent Joshua Murfree issues letters of non-renewal to the certified employees (teachers) who were named in the CRCT cheating report.

Murfree was involved with principal evaluations Friday and did not respond to requests to find out where he stood on the matter of teacher contracts.

“If certified employees are not notified by May 15 that they will not be employed next school year they will automatically have a contract for the next school year,” DCSS school attorney Tommy Coleman said.

“The case law seems to be clear that if you know of an infraction of the law or policy in any one contract year and do not discipline a certified employee accordingly, you accept the infraction and cannot discipline them in the next contract year.

“Consequently, failure to non-renew may result in the loss of a right to discipline.”

Coleman pointed to the 2002 case of Velma Jean Moulder vs. Bartow County BOE in which she appealed her dismissal to the state Board of Education. Moulder was terminated for transgressions from the previous school year after her contract had been renewed.

The BOE determined that once the new contract was issued and accepted, then incidents involving her work performance that occurred before the issuance of the new contract could not be used as the basis for her termination.

In related news, Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards said late Friday this is office is in the process of preparing "as we speak" to transfer some individual CRCT case files to Coleman.

"We are ready to turn over some files to Mr. Coleman," Edwards said. "We have determined that these cases should be handled by the school board's administrative tribunals. We are looking more closely at some other files for possible prosecution."

In late December of last year, investigators turned in a 293-page report to Governor Nathan Deal outlining cheating in 2009 on CRCT tests in 11 of 16 DCSS elementary.

Forty-nine teachers and administrators were named in the report, but the number dwindled to 44 through retirements and several who were no longer with the system.

Comments

Justice4Moma 2 years, 6 months ago

Same ole stuff.See when it is someone with the good ole boy system,it takes it longer to go to court.What an injustice.And this happens all the time.Enough of protecting your good ole boy system.Protect us the taxpayers,and voters.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 6 months ago

Thank you, Albany Herald, for keeping us informed so that EVERYBODY knows the facts here including the Community and the DCSS and BOE top entities. We wouldn't want this thing to just evaporate behind a legal technicality, now would we?

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dingleberry 2 years, 6 months ago

Quit fooling around and get it done--non-renew and end the whole event now. No one will ever be prosecuted by the Distance Attorney--long way from prosecuting anyone he knows or who has friends he knows.

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Terry.Lewis 2 years, 6 months ago

Actually, I think a couple of people will be prosecuted, but at this point its really secondary. What Murfree should do is non-renew everybody named in the report - like NOW. If he does nothing and the contracts auto-renew on May 15th, it will severely hamper the system's options to pursue discipline against the teachers. Then the state, which spent more than $600,000 on the investigation, will very, very unhappy.

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gotanyfacts 2 years, 6 months ago

Terry... Could you ask Tommy Coleman about the possibility of non-renewing and then offering conditional contracts to those under investigation, thus keeping the option of disciplinary action once once the board's review is complete. That would seem to be a logical path, which means it likely would not be legal!

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Terry.Lewis 2 years, 6 months ago

Non-renewals automatically trigger hearing before the administrative tribunals. As was said long ago, there are different levels of culpability here ranging from a teacher saying "check your answers" to outright erasures. Many of these cases will be resolved by a letter of reprimand in the personnel file. It bothers me that there is "they are all cheaters!" mentality at play here. Truth is we need to see the individual case files, and these people need their charges brought to light and have their day before a tribunal. That's why non-renewal is the only fair and logical option. We need closure and the system needs closure. Now.

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VSU 2 years, 6 months ago

With Murfree in charge, I would bet dollars to doughnuts that all 44 contracts get renewed with no questions asked, unless someone resigns or retires.

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Terry.Lewis 2 years, 6 months ago

He really can't do that with a SACS review coming up in September.

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waltspecht 2 years, 6 months ago

Non-renew is both the best, and cheapest answer. Without a contract they will no longer be paid to sit around waiting for a tribunal, ans that alone will save money. They have the option of seeking employment elsewhere if they need funds.

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Cartman 2 years, 6 months ago

Simple solution. Non-renew the whole bunch. It will force the administrative hearings. Go ahead and hear the evidence and push this matter to a head. What is holding up the hearings anyways? And BTW. Thanks, Albany Herald. This would have been a travesty if the "asleep at the wheel" school board had not been exposed to sunlight. They might very well have said, "Oh well. Our hands are tied."

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chinaberry25 2 years, 6 months ago

The very least that should be done is to be terminated. This will hurt a lot of them in a bad job market. And with the poor recommendation it will be hard for them to get a job. They should not be able to work in the DCSS. They would be fools to allow them to ever work for them again.

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Bubbavet_rureel 2 years, 6 months ago

No comment, you guys have said enough. Throw due process out of the constitution, that way if you are accussed of something, leave it to your peers to handle you publicly.

Still can we be friends!

What about that? How about renewing that.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 5 months ago

Why don't you become friends with this fact: It was a lot more likely that you won the big MegaMillions lottery last week than it is likely that most of the wrong-to-right erasures were "accidental".

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tywebb 2 years, 5 months ago

there's this little thing called evidence that was discovered during the investigation. it's not just a simple he said/she said process. And haven't you realized that EVERYTHING gets handled publicly?

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Outtahere 2 years, 6 months ago

That's great but I'm still waiting to find out about the free lunch scandal.

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jglass 2 years, 5 months ago

They are going to mess around and let May 15th come and go and let the cheaters remain in the system..Non-renew the contracts plain and simple. And, what is going on with the the lunchroom scandal? It just seems like it takes forever to get justice, if there is such a thing.

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agonized 2 years, 5 months ago

Thank you to Terry and the Albany Herald for explaining what is going on here. If the Board and Murfree do not do as advised, I think the consequences will be pretty severe. The Board has skated by in other circumstances, but they can't do that here. Terry mentioned the SACS review in September. Losing SACS accreditation, if I'm not mistaken, will result in lack of funding and programs, and I think it's pretty hard to get the accreditation back once lost. Also, there could be other liability involved, including against the Board itself, if the system keeps teachers in place that are shown to have changed answers, etc. It's a pretty pathetic message to send to schoolchildren that you can cheat and still keep your job.

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dianewilliams 2 years, 5 months ago

You people need to be ashame always pointing fingers. I pay taxes, I don't work for the school system and no I am not friends with any of the teachers and administrations. You say it's ahame about the teachers and what they did. From what I seen in the albany herald what evidence was that. They are not making the city look bad you all are that are bad mouthing these people. These teachers pay taxes just like you and I. All I see coming from these bloggers are our tax monies. Some of these teachers were paying taxes before you were born. The evidence that they put in the paper was crazy, it didn't make sense. The GBI said they had about 50 people they felt like were cheating before they came. Then tell me why did they have to interview everybody. The GBI had to do what they said to get somebody and ain't it funny how close they came to 50 people. Dougherty County put your thinking caps on. Don't go putting down your teachers down until the real evidence is shown. The GBI had a job to do just like everyone else. Do actually think they were going to make themselves look bad !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Terry.Lewis 2 years, 5 months ago

That's what individual case files are for. All will be revealed in the tribunal phase.

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tywebb 2 years, 5 months ago

oh yeah, i'm sure the GBI just came up with almost 50 for nooooooo reason.....just so they wouldn't look bad! Great logic. And if some of these teachers were paying taxes before I was born....which is not possible.....then it makes you wonder how long they've been cheating the students out of an education.

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dianewilliams 2 years, 5 months ago

I guess you have all the answers. Again your another citizen who just judges without knowing all the facts. As you said their cheaters. Who are you to judge these teachers. You probably have more flaws then they do!!!!! Oh, but they talked about Jesus. So who are you to talk about them!!!!!! Exploit your flaws and give people something else to talk about.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 5 months ago

And your spelling and grammar tell us all that we need to know about your education and your ability to Reason. Not so good. Sorry!

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stc1993 2 years, 5 months ago

Probably a Dougherty Co school graduate.

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dianewilliams 2 years, 5 months ago

Whoever stc 1993 is, why are you worried about where I graduated from. Do you have nothing better to talk about. Where ever I received my Diploma from is none of your business, but your kind of getting in my business anyway. I did not attend the DCSS. Why your trying to get smart young brain.

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dianewilliams 2 years, 5 months ago

You need to be worry about yourself Sister_Ruby because I'm okay. Take it for what it's worth.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 5 months ago

dianewilliams do you know how small the probability of ONE in FIFTEEN BILLION is? Let's just say....if that were your probability of surviving an airplane flight........there would be no airlines operating today. People would not accept that chance. And some of the probabilities on these test cheats were MUCH greater than ONE in FIFTEEN BILLION. That's 1 in 15,000,000,000

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dianewilliams 2 years, 5 months ago

Do you no people lie everyday and what is the probability out of that!!!!!!!!! Do you understand that these test have been put in many hands. Some of these teachers were just accused if you look in the report they gave. A six year old baby said that a para sat down and gave them the answers to the test on each section, but the teacher wasn't doing anything. I know for a fact the test aren't given in one day, because I called dcss to see for myself. How is it that the para is cheating and the teacher is right there. Did the para sit down everyday and give the same student the answers, I don't think so, what about the rest of the children in that class that supposely scored high. No, something is fishy about that GBI report. What did the para have to gain from cheating she wouldn't have gained nothing because she isn't certified anyway. Again put your thinking cap on !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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tywebb 2 years, 5 months ago

Does anyone else find it totally frightening that "Murfree was involved with principal evaluations Friday "? It really is appalling that #34 gets to evaluate the leaders of each school.

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Bubbavet_rureel 2 years, 5 months ago

Under Georgia law, tenured teachers have legitimate claim of entitlement to their continued employment in positions in which they are employed, so that teachers may not be terminated or demoted by school board unless board grants them certain substantive and procedural due process rights. O.C.G.A. §§ 20-2-940(a-f), 20-2-942(b)(1, 2). Hatcher v. Board of Public Educ. and Orphanage for Bibb County, 1987, 809 F.2d 1546. Constitutional Law 4201

West's Law - Reference

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TheBoss 2 years, 5 months ago

Nope, not # 34, I have seen his emails. This is too well written to be # 34. Unless he can cut and paste.

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Terry.Lewis 2 years, 5 months ago

What do you think the administrative tribunals are for? The non-renewals are just the first step in the process of adjudicating the individual cases. No one ever said these people would be tossed out on the ears, the law will not allow it.

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TheBoss 2 years, 5 months ago

I have a grandson that can count to 100. How come it takes Tommy Coleman more than 2 days to count less than 40 files?

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Bubbavet_rureel 2 years, 5 months ago

This is the law, In a civil society we must follow the laws of this great state and country. Hate crimes are illegal also, we must let the wheels of justice turn, they turn slow, appeal, appeal. and appeal.

Let's be friends during and after this process.

I pay taxes, conserve our dollars, nothing from nothing leaves ____ (You fill in the blank) 1. Nothing 2. Speculation 3. Lawsuit 4. Retirment

Bubbavet_rureel

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 5 months ago

Nothing from nothing leaves........Billy Preston

But you gotta have SOMETHING if you wanna be with me.

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tywebb 2 years, 5 months ago

nothing from nothing leaves you with the value of a doco diploma!

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Bubbavet_rureel 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm back in town, I have all day. Keep it coming! The Bubba's are ready.

Can we be friends? can you do that?

Bubbavet_rureel

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TheBoss 2 years, 5 months ago

Nothing from nothing leaves # 34.

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waltspecht 2 years, 5 months ago

Thats the problem with tenure, and why most systems are moving away from it. We could end up like New York City, Paying former Educators to come into an Office and sit there for eight hours a day, some of them for as long as ten years. Plus they never produce one bit of work for the system. Still have Summers off, not required to gain points thru advanced schooling and get all Holidays and sick days.

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stc1993 2 years, 5 months ago

I used to like Greg Edwards & have always voted for him. He's turning into his old boss. I quit voting for him too after the mess with PP hospital. Like all elected officials, it's time for a change.

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Bubbavet_rureel 2 years, 5 months ago

Smart by letting the evidence not the accussations drive the process, the teachers deserve due process.

Bubbavet_rureel

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Bubbavet_rureel 2 years, 5 months ago

Them? They?

I read somewhere that registered voters, vote according to fact's and not negative speculation.

Nothing from nothing means no bill in criminal cases. Sadly, negative comments about them and they wont be considered in a court of law.

However, in the court of public opinion, we the majority feel positive about our schoool system including the strife that has come upon the system.

I tell my friends that postive always comes from negative.

Now can we be friends? Bubavet_rureel

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