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CRCT fallout focus of BOE meeting

Dougherty County Board of Education Chairman James Bush, left, speaks at the body’s meeting Wednesday. Superintendent Joshua Murfree sits to Bush’s left. The board voted to approve the suspensions of six teachers cited in the 2009 CRCT cheating investigation.

Dougherty County Board of Education Chairman James Bush, left, speaks at the body’s meeting Wednesday. Superintendent Joshua Murfree sits to Bush’s left. The board voted to approve the suspensions of six teachers cited in the 2009 CRCT cheating investigation.

ALBANY, Ga. — Following an hourlong executive session, the Dougherty County School system Board of Education opted on Wednesday to accept the recommendations handed down from recent tribunal hearings as well as reinstate two of the system’s principals.

As recommended by the tribunal, the board voted in favor of suspensions of 40 contract days for six teachers cited in the 2009 Criterion-Referenced Competency Test cheating investigation. They were Tiffaney Randle of Northside Elementary School, Tara Mallard and Jennifer Smith of Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, Lavonda Jolivette and Fatima Jackson of Turner Elementary School and Alberta Wallace of Sherwood Acres Elementary School.

A Dougherty principal cited in the investigation, Jose Roquemore, had his contract reinstated through a 4-2 vote by the board. A tribunal hearing had been scheduled for Roquemore today, but it has been canceled.

On a related note, Gloria Baker — another principal in the system — had her contract reinstated. Her contract had been non-renewed after she and her husband were both indicted on school lunch fraud charges earlier this year.

“She will still go before the Professional Standards Commission, but (we’ve done all we can with the case),” said Tommy Coleman, the attorney for the school system.

Darrel Ealum and Carol Tharin voted against both renewals.

As part of an attempt to dig deeper into suspicious free and reduced lunch applications, DCSS Finance Director Ken Dyer presented a report indicating that fraud may be a continuing problem.

Upon preliminary review, he noted that there were 440 students found to be dependents of the system’s employees. Of those, it appeared that 30 families had questionable incomes on their applications, Dyer said.

The employees in question have been sent letters and have been given 10 days to respond. Dyer added that he has been in talks with Margo DeLaune, title programs director for the Georgia Department of Education, regarding the situation.

The board was also briefed on an overcrowding at Sherwood Acres Elementary, which officials say is now occupying more than 780 students.

Officials said it appears some students who live closer to Northside Elementary are being sent to Sherwood Acres, prompting a check into residential records of some of the students.

“We are going to spend some time talking to the attendance clerk and make sure the students’ parents (are being truthful about where they are living),” Coleman said.

Also approved at the meeting Wednesday was the purchase of 10 new buses for the school system. At a meeting last week, the board’s Transportation Committee voted in favor of recommending the purchase.

A letter to Superintendent Joshua Murfree from Kenneth Williams, the system’s transportation director, dated Aug. 15, states the purchase — if it were approved by the full board — would be made using a state contract.

The state allocated $762,195 for the buses with the sale of a $25 million bond to be utilized for the purchase of 328 school buses throughout Georgia.

The school system is expected to supplement the purchase with the use of special-purpose local-option sales tax funds in the amount of $228,898.20 for the total purchase price of $991,093.20, the letter further states.

Comments

saveourcity 2 years ago

Shameful! Just shameful, what kind of lesson are we teaching the children in the community? Work the system, take all you can, break the rules and you can still get away with it.

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VSU 2 years ago

Any we wonder why so much crime and other cheating is going on. The schools are teaching the children the wrong lessons of life. Might as well build more jail space and prisons because most will end up there eventually.

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bubbasmithredneck 2 years ago

HAHAHA.....Where is Sister Ruby????? Where are the teacher bashers now? You look real stupid now!!! See, thats what you get for bashing those teachers and administrators without knowing the evidence. They are headed back to work and you are probably unemployed. GO TEACHERS!!! The witch hunt is almost over......

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MisterEd 2 years ago

You must really be a dumba$$ if you are cheering because Gloria Baker got her job back. An administrator making $90,000/yr willfully broke the law by attempting to get free or reduced meals, and you applaud her getting her job back. Folks like you are why the world is headed to hell in a handbasket, and Albany is one of the main engines.

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Shinedownfan 2 years ago

Might as well let velvet off the hook too, and she doesn't make over 90 grand a year... Unbelievable!

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director1217 2 years ago

I think he said teachers....not principals.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

The FOOLS in this debacle are the so-called "attorneys" who could not find their dip with a stick. Anybody with half a brain knows this outcome stinks like the treatment plant. That gets you off the hook, b-s-r-n.

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tywebb 2 years ago

you do know that the teachers in this piece received "suspensions of 40 contract days for six teachers cited in the 2009 Criterion-Referenced Competency Test cheating investigation." Do you know why? BECAUSE THEY WERE CHEATING!!!!!!!!! There was evidence against every teacher in the report....some just had more than others.....but it was still there!!!! We don't bash ALL teachers.....just the idiots who cheat! You are so stupid. And i'm not unemployed (although it would pay better)....i'm a teacher! If the tribunal, after hearing all evidence, recommends rehiring them, then so be it. BUT for gloria baker.....an indicted thief.....to be rehired, well, that's where the gang of idiots on the board earn their criticism!

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lynn227 2 years ago

They didn't get suspended because they were cheating. They got that because they were given two options; sign this and maybe work again or defy us and we will see you gone. DCSS was not and has never been interested in getting the ones who orchestrated this cheating scandal. DCSS has been content to let the ones who had the most to profit from this mess, quietly go home by means of the back door. You couldn't be much of a teacher to refer to another person as stupid. Is that what you tell your students to do when they meet with differing opinions? That report was a bunch of he said/she said crap. Playing on the computer during instructional time? What dedication? You were probably one of those teachers who signed the "I swear I did not cheat!" Certain people got to do that, regardless of how high they were flagged.

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tywebb 2 years ago

And why were they given two options???? BECAUSE THEY WERE CHEATING! and i have alot more integrity than these people so i wouldn't have to sign an "i swear" form. Please, all day yesterday you kept bashing whatley, daniels, and whomever the other one was without any evidence. It's kinda....no, exactly....like what you are accusing people on here of doing. Nice hypocrisy.

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director1217 2 years ago

They were given two options because the board din't have enough evidence and they were ready to get back to work. The system needed money so they are taking theirs. They did not want to be scandalized anymore but that didn't work. These teachers have not spoken out on none of your harness and cruelties they have maintained themselves because if it was me.....we would have to meet and you better believe that! So the teachers that actually work in the system may know what's best for them than you.

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tywebb 2 years ago

oooooooooooooooo..............i believe it!!!!!!!!

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lynn227 2 years ago

They were given two options to intimidate them into not fighting., It didn't work out that way for all. Some called their bluff. I worked with Whatley and Daniels and still work with Bridges. If they think they have been smeared by me....sue!! I wish they would. Oh, I forgot. They have been allowed to sneak away by the public. Save your responses.,..you don't know jack about what's going on in the DCSS or who caused it. You are just a whiner profiting off someone else's troubles. Ambulance chaser!

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director1217 2 years ago

People are calling these teachers cheaters......why? They told the students to check over their work. What teacher would see a child go astray on anything and don't redirect them? Cheater? what type of teacher knows that a student has been tested over 200 times already that year and is tired of testing and knows that this child is not performing at their best level? Is that cheating? Have you ever been helped and/or given work back when you were in school? In college? Come on think.....is this definition of cheating? These teachers cared. They didn't received any more, recognition not even a good job for scores so there was no incentives. But yet they must pay $10,000 to keep their jobs! But remember the the board owe out that money and I guess they found where to get it from.....the teachers. I feel sorry for them and I would be proud to have my child in their room. At least they showed they cared.

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MisterEd 2 years ago

They call them cheaters because they cheated. Duh. If you prompt the kids to answer correctly, what exactly are you gaining? What good does that do the children if they score very well but don't actually know their butt from deep center field? The CRCT is a test that measures the growth of the children's knowledge, but the schools and teachers are also measured with it. And heaven forbid the predominantly black school system not measure up. Gotta do what ya gotta do to raise those scores, right?

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director1217 2 years ago

MisterEd they is not cheating. they didn't prompt the student to get the correct answer they prompted them to recheck their work. Obviously you have never taught school or have been in a school system. You don't know students nor the system. And if you haven't noticed mostly all of the "black" schools are considered the low schools. If you haven't noticed none of the "white" schools were in the media. If haven't noticed it was because the "black" schools scored high is the reason why the investigation came. Thanks for showing your prejudice by pointing out "black" schools.

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tywebb 2 years ago

i sure hope you weren't ever a teacher either.....your grasp of the English language is killing me!!!!! The rules of the CRCT are very specific.....you can NOT help a student out in any way. It is a test that must be followed to the T so that there is a genuine equallity between everyone who takes it. This is no ordinary classroom test. On a regular science test the teacher can "help" the students all they want (although in the end it hurts them), but NOT on the crct. And you said that the students were tested over 200 times and not performing at their best level when the crct was given?? what a joke! the schools don't do testing leading up to the crct. all they do is review, review, review for about 2-3 weeks before. The kids are fresh and ready to go. You know why the teachers cheated?? It's not because they cared about the students.....it's because they were more worried about what would happen to their jobs if the students didn't do well on the crct!

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director1217 2 years ago

Hummmm excuse me mr. ty. The students are tested to the end. I have been a para and a substitute in the system for 11 years and I do know what I am talking about. They are test every week in every subject. They are test on word list, spelling words, math facts, continents, etc. They have benchmark test, semester tests, chapter tests all year. I don't know what school you are talking about but kids nor the teachers are fresh. If you don't know these teachers personally then you can't say anything about them just like you don't want anyone making personal judgement on you. And for the record, my English is fine, my typing is not but apparently you get the point because you surely responded!

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tywebb 2 years ago

you apparently got my point too, since your English/typing improved in that post. Thank you. I know exactly what kind preperation leads up to the crct. i taught in dcss for over a dozen years. if your kids are being tested EVERY week in EVERY subject and they and the teachers are exhausted come crct time, well, maybe the school should look at doing something else. Our kids were excited for the crct, the testing kickoff rallies that were held, and the potential prizes for doing well.

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director1217 2 years ago

Well whenever you taught apparently in horse and buggy times if those kids were excited for the crct. Oh you received prizes? Incentives you say? Hmmmm. well teachers nor students receive anything, now, in the real world. Good for you. Maybe since you are such a dynamic teacher come back and model and show us how it is done but don't teach at Lincoln, no teach at Jackson Heights or somewhere and spread your wisdom oh mighty teacher. By the way the testing isn't mandated by the school it is mandated by downtown so you (Mr. Concern) go to the board meetings and complain about the tests because they are tested every week , my friend. And if I typed with my toes I would still outwit and have more knowledge about this than you. Thanks for your interest.

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lynn227 2 years ago

Nobody in Dougherty County has ever lost a job over the CRCT. They never worried about their jobs, some for 16 years, until the magic year...2009. Yeah, right! It seems almost fifty people woke up in the middle of the night, experienced a collective panic attack, then decided this was the year to worry about their jobs. They were quite telepathic! Paraprofessionals in the rooms decided, neither husband, children, or homes were more important than helping a teacher cheat. That amounts to almost fifty random forest fires within a 14 mile radius. That's one for the books!

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tywebb 2 years ago

maybe that's the problem with dcss....they allowed inept teachers to stay. maybe the teachers and parapros just weren't bright enough to follow crct procedures and NOT help students on the test. just because they got caught in 2009 doesn't mean it didn't happen before. maybe there was cheating before but not on such a grand scale to call much attention to it.

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director1217 2 years ago

Maybe they were instructed to.

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gotanyfacts 2 years ago

"They told the students to check over their work." director, are you aware of the situation under which some of the teachers reportedly told the students to check their answers? Pointing to a specific item on a test and telling them to check it is the same as saying "This is wrong, pick another." Those who did so were cheating.

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lynn227 2 years ago

Are you aware of the situation? What do you know about any of those people named in that report? The ones who said pick another answer were cleared by Tommy Coleman. They didn't require a tribunal hearing.

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director1217 2 years ago

They took the test to her desk and she told them to go back......you are right lynn227. But because of her connections her face was never revealed nor has ty or gotanyfacts said one word about her.

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gotanyfacts 2 years ago

Who are you talking about? I'm sorry if I haven't spoken ill of her! And about her connections... ? It's a shame! ;)

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lynn227 2 years ago

What Nikki said couldn't hold a candle to what was said by Tommy Coleman's special friend. Imagine pointing at a test and continually telling someone to go back and change an answer. Evidently, if you go to his church, or, you are a friend of his friend, you get a free pass. Everything you said on tape magically vanishes. Well in this case, they make sure no one ever hears your tape. I also have it on good authority, she was informed well ahead of any of the other accused teachers, she'd be fine. All she had to do was just sit in that room and bide her time.(I know this because she didn't have enough class not to brag to a mutual friend.)

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tywebb 2 years ago

lynn, you obviously have an extraordinary amount of knowledge of what went on. I don't know if you were one of the accused or not and frankly, I don't care. BUT, i and maybe others, would like to know if you were interviewed by and/or talked with the authorities to let them know about all of the evidence you have. This might have helped everyone get off and bring down the real ring leaders....W, D, and B. just curious

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gotanyfacts 2 years ago

Answer to first question: The situation I am responding to is the one described by director! .... "People are calling these teachers cheaters......why? They told the students to check over their work. What teacher would see a child go astray on anything and don't redirect them?" Director's statement indicated that upon seeing a wrong answer (going astray) the teacher should help the student (redirect them). Do you deny that situation during the CRCT would be cheating? As for what I know about the educators mentioned in the Governor's report, I know only one of them, having taught with her years ago. I read the Governor's report when it was posted, so I have a general grasp of some of the findings. What I know, or don't know about the people does not change the definition of cheating. As a retired teacher who has monitored dozens of standardized tests, I know the feeling of wanting your students to do well for both the sake of the child as well as affirmation of your work. What is paramount is an expectation of honesty throughout the testing process. It comes before our feelings for students, fellow teachers, friendships, and federal funding! Whether or not these educators return is far less important than the return of an expectation of integrity and strong character!

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director1217 2 years ago

Hail to the chief of correct test giving!

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rightasrain 2 years ago

Friggin' fools on the School Board. No....wait...don't you remember what Eric Holder said a few years ago? Blacks get a free pass! Get a worthless piece of paper from a worthless local "college", assured of a job with a worthless school system where you not only receive a salary (notice I didn't say 'earn') but you can cheat, steal, break the law, and STILL keep your job! Ain't America good!

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Cartman 2 years ago

So now discussing the shortcomings of black schools is prejudice? What a racist thing to say. The inability to openly discuss black issues without fear of opening a Pandora's box of hatred, guilt-trips, or feigned injuries to dignity; is a large part of the problem. So keep wallowing in corruption and failure. Just quit asking others to keep throwing money at you.

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director1217 2 years ago

First of all I didn't bring up black, he did. What's in you will come out. The shortcomings of black schools are they are over crowded, understaffed and overworked. Those teachers don't have the pleasure of teaching one subject to 20 students, they have to teach 3 subjects to 28-32 students without a para to help. So don't talk about black schools or issues if you can't relate.I haven't asked you to throw nothing at me. I am self sufficient and don't need nothing from you. And if these schools had the support that all of the "L" schools received they wouldn't be a failure school. But we state fact and that's not wallowing.

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lynn227 2 years ago

director1217 Most of the people whining here care little about the facts. Many just like the excitement of someone else's pain.

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director1217 2 years ago

absolutely! they have never been put into a situation like the teachers face anyway. It didn't matter if the teachers told the answers or changed from right to wrong or wrong to right.....the students would be passed anyway! So it's not the teacher passing them on, believe that. The system promote on according to age, behavior and population in a grade. They really don't know. They live the dreamland of the "L" schools. So I just let them have it.

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gotanyfacts 2 years ago

director... What are these "L" schools where you teach one subject to 20 students? I might come out of retirement!

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JustAnotherVoice 2 years ago

"On a related note, Gloria Baker — another principal in the system — had her contract reinstated. Her contract had been non-renewed after she and her husband were both indicted on school lunch fraud charges earlier this year."

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!

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DoctorDorite 2 years ago

As usually happens, the "only " person who fought for herself against these charges is the "only" one to get fired ??? Maybe its me but she's the "only" one I give any respect to !

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

**Officials said it appears some students who live closer to Northside Elementary are being sent to Sherwood Acres, prompting a check into residential records of some of the students. We are going to spend some time talking to the attendance clerk and make sure the students’ parents (are being truthful about where they are living),” Coleman said.**

Oh sure, let's make sure the parents are telling the truth while dozens of teachers and administrators are lying their a$$e$ off and getting away with it. They're all at the skating party.

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Amazed2 2 years ago

Does anyone wonder now why the MCLB is seeking help from the Lee County School System for childen living at the MCLB Housing. The MCLB is asking Lee County to admit children of active Marines that live on base. Guess even the Marines dont want to transfer to Dougherty County If thier kids have to deal with the mess at DCS$

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SpeedyGo 2 years ago

The student's over here at Dougherty High is wondering whether Jose Roquemore is coming back to Dougherty on Monday.

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TheBoss 2 years ago

Will Jose Roquemore be there to meet the MCLB General when he visits DHS? Hope JuneBug is there too along with Bush, Murfree, and Brown.

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waltspecht 2 years ago

Why didn't anyone comment of the 40 additional families and the Free Lunch Program Farud?

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whattheheck 2 years ago

Hang on Walt! If we have 40 families after all that happened last year--key phrase "continuing fraud"--the families are either betting on no one reviewing this years apps or are not the slightest bit concerned about the consequences. It is a family tradition learned years ago.

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Jacob 2 years ago

Dang Walt, there is so much graft, stupidity and corruption, we can't be expected to comment on every single instance. There is only so much time in a day...

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doingwhatisright 2 years ago

OMG! I have no respect for the cheaters nor the BOE. And you want me to spend hours preparing a lesson, grading papers, tutoring long after hours...for what? Idiots!

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director1217 2 years ago

And I'm sure they have no respect for you.

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bubbasmithredneck 2 years ago

Its been a great week so far......Republicans make a fool of themselves with the "legitimate rape" comment and Sister Ruby looks like a fool again....I'm happy!!!!

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tywebb 2 years ago

well, at least you don't stereotype, cuz that would be wrong!

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

BS_rn are you already back home from the skating party? I thought it was an all-nighter?

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Jacob 2 years ago

That hate inside you is going to eat you alive. Some professional help might be in order. Maybe you will look less stupid if you occasionally sound reasonable.

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Abytaxpayer 2 years ago

Maybe I was asleep but nice to see "Coach" back spreading his "wisdom" O I am sorry now he is the "director" of wisdom.

So please share your wisdom. Just how much does Gloria Baker have to lie and steal to loose her job?

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director1217 2 years ago

Now that's something I really would like to know!

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MRKIA 2 years ago

HEARD IS OUT OF THE WAY NOW, JUST WAIT.

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