Kathleen Mathers, executive director of the agency, told Georgia Board of Education members Wednesday that 80 educators are being investigated. The number of school districts could increase as the state waits for another 18 districts to complete their own probes.
Schools spokesman Louis Svehla said the state contacted Carol Rountree, director of student services, last week about conducting interviews with teachers from 11 schools, including Diamond Lakes, Craig-Houghton, Jamestown, Collins, Copeland, Warren Road, Bayvale, Milledge and Wheeless Road elementary schools. Lamar and Hornsby Elementary schools were also a part of that probe, but the two schools now have different names -- Lamar-Milledge and Hornsby K-8.
"The direction from the state was to conduct some in-depth interviews," he said. "The interviews began this week."
Svehla said he could not say how many teachers would be scrutinized, since the investigation is still under way. He did say the state's probe is related to an April investigation of local schools with suspicious erasures on the statewide test.
The same group of local educators that handled the investigation in the spring is conducting the interviews this week, he said. Once the local investigation is complete, the findings will be submitted to the state.
"We will wait to hear back from the state on the rulings, whatever they may be," Svehla said.
A report released by Mathers' office in February showed there was possible cheating on standardized tests in about 20 percent of Georgia elementary and middle schools last spring. Those found guilty of cheating could face sanctions up to losing their teaching licenses.
Associated Press reports were used in this article.