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Tribunal recommends 40-contract day suspension for teachers in CRCT probe

Chris West, the attorney for teachers Tara Mallard and Tiffany Randall, reads through the charge letter Friday morning at the teacher's tribunal hearing.

Chris West, the attorney for teachers Tara Mallard and Tiffany Randall, reads through the charge letter Friday morning at the teacher's tribunal hearing.

— ALBANY — An administrative tribunal has recommended that two Dougherty County School System teachers accused of cheating in a state investigation of the administering of CRCTs in 2009 be docked 40 contract days of pay, but may return to their classrooms.

Click here to see video from the hearing.

Tara Mallard, who taught at Martin Luther King Elementary, and Tiffany Randle, who taught at Northside Elementary, each agreed to stipulate that testing infractions occurred and to a 60-day unpaid suspensions, but the tribunal instead will suggest 40 unpaid contract days to the school board.

The Dougherty BOE can accept the tribunal's recommendation or come up with a resolution of its own.

The school system asserted the two educators' testing infractions amounted to each teacher looking over the shoulders of students and urging them "to take another look" at their questions when the teachers noticed a wrong answer, DCSS attorney Flin Coleman said.

Coleman said Mallard and Randle nudged students in the right direction by telling them to recheck their answers on the standardized test when she saw an incorrect answer.

The motivation, he said, was to avoid getting another "needs improvements" rating in test scores after Mallard's principal (Carolyn Scott) threatened her job if she didn't get the scores up.

Scott, who was also named in the governor's investigative report, retired from the school system before her case could be heard by a tribunal.

Chris West, the attorney for both teachers, asked the tribunal to consider both teachers' lengthy unblemished careers and Randle's designation as the 2005 District teacher of the year.

During the meeting, Randle was served a subpoena to appear as a witness during the tribunal hearing of Angela Shumate, the Northside Principal.

The teachers did get some tough questions from former Wheeler County administrator Jack Willis, who questioned what kind of message the teacher's conduct would send to both the students and community.

"What message are we sending the students who will be in the classroom with these teachers? What message are we sending their parents? ... That we don't think their children can perform on these tests? What message are we sending the community who's footing the bill for all of this?" Willis asked.

West pointed to the teacher's previous years of untarnished service and said that the incidents were done in a misguided attempt to help the students.

"If you look at the teachers' careers you'll see a lengthy career where they have worked to help students," West said. "I think what happened here was that the teachers thought that by urging the students to recheck their answers that they were helping them in the short term, but I think what they realize now is that they may have inadvertently hurt them in the long-term."

The end of Friday's hearing leaves five educators waiting to go before tribunals. Coleman said afterward no more deals would be cut.

"This is the last time we will all leave here smiling," said Coleman.

Three educators face tribunals next week. Former Northside Principal Angela Shumate will face the panel on Aug. 21; Turner Elementary teacher Nikki Lyons is scheduled for an Aug. 22 hearing; and former Morningside Principal Jose Roquemore is set for Aug. 23.

Teachers Adrienne Savage of West Town and Sylvester Road's Beverly Knighton-Harris will have hearings a week later.

Terry Lewis contributed to this report.

Comments

MRKIA 2 years ago

THE NEED TO IMPROVE STILL EXISTS. DID THE PRINCIPAL THREATEN TO FIRE HER FOR HER PERFOMANCE AS A TEACHER OR IF SHE DID NOT PLAY ALONG IN THE CRCT TESTING? IF THIS PERSON IS NOT QUALIFIED TO TEACH SHE SHOULD NOT BE IN ANY CLASSROOM. HOWEVER, IF SHE WAS COERCED OR THREATENED BY AN ADMINISTRATOR THEN THAT PERSON NEEDS TO BE SHOWN THE DOOR.

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Trustbuster 2 years ago

MRKIA, Teachers do not enjoy any whistle blower protections. Unfortunately they will become just a guilty as the others even when they are coerced by principals. Someone needs to ask their former principal who coerced them did they face any ethics charges before the Ga. Professional Standards Commission.

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J.D._Sumner 2 years ago

The principal in Mallard's case resigned. The principal in Randle's case faces a tribunal later this month.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

Clearly this slap on the wrist is all that Coleman is going to get out of this entire fiasco for all involved. Blatant cheating. Slap on the wrist. Really pathetic.

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MRKIA 2 years ago

LOOKS LIKE SHUMATE IS GONNA HAVE PROBLEMS FOR REAL. DOESN'T HAVE 60 DAY SUSPENSION WRITTEN ON THIS ONE.

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waltspecht 2 years ago

In Industry if you can't produce an acceptable product, they find someone who can. That is the attitude that needs to prevail in all School Systems. It does start with the Administrators doing their job of realistically evaluating those working for them, attempting to improve those that need improvement and failing at that replacing those that won't improve. These days there are a lot of Teachers out there looking for jobs. Not like some of these Teachers are irreplacable.Nor are the Administrators. Especially those that continue to shove their work down to the Teacher level so they don't have to do it.

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lynn227 2 years ago

In industry you can throw out a defective product and keep going. With the exception of about five schools in Albany, the defective student can't be discarded, nor should they ever be. It's a crying shame to have siblings attend a magnate school, then have the school ditch one because he is a behavior problem. They get to pick and choose what child they will keep...other schools take in their failures. They attended college and passed the same state testing as the teachers in the school their problems are passed along to. How fair is that? If you dare to open your mouth about it...you can expect a giant dot on your back, arrows to follow at anytime. We could all have a beautiful garden in paradise. The is trick is to do it outside of Eden.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

Willis asked some "tough questions" of the teachers. I don't see anywhere, neither in this article or in the previous articles, where the teachers answered any questions during the tribunal proceedings. Why not?

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straightface 2 years ago

they were not allowed to answer. he asked the attorney for answer.. you should have come to get the answers you needed for yourself.

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MRKIA 2 years ago

THEIR LAWYER ADVISED THEM NOT TO TESTIFY. DON'T SAY THAT THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SPEAK. ITS NOT TRUE.

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lynn227 2 years ago

They didn't have to testify. This 'tribunal' was a plea hearing. Tommy Coleman agreed to this , as did DCSS well over six weeks ago.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

Not allowed by whom? Their attorneys? HAHAHAHA!!!

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tywebb 2 years ago

"West pointed to the teacher's previous years of untarnished service and said that the incidents were done in a misguided attempt to help the students".......the time to "HELP" the students is BEFORE crct, NOT DURING! If theses teachers have soooooo many years of service, then THEY SHOULD KNOW THIS!!!!!!!!! The question I have......Will ANY of the teachers who are admitting to, OR found guilty of, cheating, lose their certificates??? Come on, people! @MRKIA....."During the meeting, Randle was served a subpoena to appear as a witness during the tribunal hearing of Angela Shumate, the Northside Principal". Hopefully, Ms. Randle will tell the truth and "principal" shumate will be out on her rear. it's my opinion that the principals weren't at the top of the food chain, if you get my drift!

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bubbavet 2 years ago

Am I wrong? Were they not on a 90 suspension with pay before this?

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straightface 2 years ago

it was 5 months suspension.. January-May

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J.D._Sumner 2 years ago

According to Coleman, that wasn't a suspension. It was a relocation. Semantics I'm sure, but that's what discussed in part at the meeting this morning.

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Albanite 2 years ago

Un-caught is NOT the same as "untarnished." These women are self-admitted liars and cheaters who have no business EVER being in a classroom where they can influence children. Is the DCSS really so stupid and thoughtless as to keep these teachers-of-fraud in a classroom? Oh wait...

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straightface 2 years ago

what goes around comes around. im sure you have daughters, sisters, aunts..

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Somebody 2 years ago

So you are saying it is alright to hurt the children's education just as long as they get back at those so called white devils? Then again what else can you expect from a regressive city.

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TheBoss 2 years ago

Is this new Math? First 60 day suspensions = 40 days of pay??? How bout 60 days of pay? And do you count holidays and weekends? When would the teachers be allowed back into classrooms? Would they go back to the same school? Come on J. D. start digging, inquiring minds want to know.

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straightface 2 years ago

same school..same classrooms...already there.. this is for the viewers peace of mind.

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J.D._Sumner 2 years ago

60 calendar days doesn't equal 60 paid days folks don't get paid on weekends. So apparently the 40 contract days are the 60 days minus any unpaid days.

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bubbavet 2 years ago

Thanks for keeping us straight J.D.

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Trustbuster 2 years ago

I wonder if they will face further discipline from the Professional Standards Commission? Walker served there.

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Terry.Lewis 2 years ago

Tommy Coleman says all case files will be turned over to the PSC after the hearings are completed and the BOE renders its decisions

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waltspecht 2 years ago

Lengthy unblemished career. Does that mean this is the first time they got caught?

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B4it 2 years ago

Just curious, what happens to a student in High School, and in College, if they get caught cheating on a final exam? Does this compare to a TEACHER, or ADMINISTRATOR, who should know better than to help a student cheat on a test?

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

Nice video. "not going to do it anymore....we hope". WOW that sure makes me feel better. Translation: Now that they know that statistical analysis is going to be performed on the test results.........they know they can't do it any more. Excellent!!

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DoctorDorite 2 years ago

Where is DCCS getting these all of these replacement teachers for 60/90 days ??, the law says the have to be certified teachers and not para's. Again the kids suffer, having to deal with adjusting to a new teacher in the middle of the year as the teachers return. The first few months of a school year are the most important time bonding with their teachers, sadly this year will be a loss for many.

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Terry.Lewis 2 years ago

The teachers will be credited with time served at the Isabella Complex and their checks will be docked until the 40 contact days penalty is satisfied. They will miss no time in the classroom.

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DoctorDorite 2 years ago

Supposedley when they went to Isabella they were working and srawing pay checks, now your going to take their pay away doing classroom work ?? They now go back into a classroom to work and not draw pay ? this does'nt sound right . This may be grounds for a law suit. This is confusing as heck, maybe its supposed to be.

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Cartman 2 years ago

Simultaneously incredible and disgusting. So this is the new standard? What an absolute slap in the face to the teaching profession.

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TrixibelleBento 2 years ago

Jack Willis' comments were right on. What message are we sending to everyone? Have we sunk so much as a nation that cheating is now acceptable behavior?!

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waltspecht 2 years ago

Just where does it say substitutes have to be certified Teachers? Plus, isn't this where they use retired Teachers (sometimes better known as family and friends) to fill the vacancies. I have seen that Squak many times. They also have a built in excuse for these student's failures, and I bet it gets used.

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lynn227 2 years ago

"This is the last time we will all leave here smiling," said Coleman.Yeah, right! This is said by a man who claims his friend and fellow church member's daughter deserves to be in a classroom. I would have thought that was a conflict of interest!

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

They's plenty of conflicts to go around on this one.

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tywebb 2 years ago

there's soooooo much nepotism in this school system it is absolutely sickening! the kids don't stand a chance when the hiring process is about who you know, not what you know. mr. and mrs. pringle....principals; mr. and mrs. chunn......principals; archie chatmon, charles chatmon, and the woman who was principal at AHS (not named chatmon) all closely related. coach seabrooks and his wife......and many, many more!

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Ijustdontkno 2 years ago

Mr.Coleman's statements This Fridays hearing leaves five educators afterwards no deals will be cut and this is the last time we will all leave here smiling seems a bit unfair to those five educator left to appear before the tribunal. It looks as though he's saying y'all done! How can he be so unfair to those five Educators? Lets hear them out as we have listened to the others.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

I think that's what Obama said about Al-Queda "They're not going to blow up any more US Soldiers.............we hope"........................BOOM!!!!

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dingleberry 2 years ago

Teachers can be found when money can be found. In FY 2010, we found teachers at Global Teachers Research and Resources Inc to the tune of $555,000. In FY 2011, we did the same for $523,000. The kicker on these was that those hired by the firm had to be either a non-US citizen or have dual citizenship--no US only folks need apply.

http://gtrr.net/faq_schools.php

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bubbasmithredneck 2 years ago

Seems to me that the bloggers who exaggerated about the cheating done should now face a tribunal!! The so called "cheating" seems a lot smaller than first reported. Sure, they did wrong, but its no more than what some of you do everyday on your job. Everybody who wants to "win" sometimes push the envelope a little too much. They did too..... but it was not that serious......so go back to work............deal with it and leave these people alone.

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tywebb 2 years ago

i really hope you are not a teacher, board member, or in ANY kind of leadership-over-children position because you are a friggin' moron! Quit defending these CHEATERS! unless you are one of them......which would explain all of your other posts. Hey kids....it's ok to cheat....as long as it's just a little bit. I feel sorry for your children, if you have any.

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bubbasmithredneck 2 years ago

Not defending them....I'm attacking people who exaggerated and lied on them. (are you guilty?) Otherwise, leave those people alone. They have learned their lesson.

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