Educators are suspended for changing test scores

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ATLANTA --- A former DeKalb County principal is banned from Georgia schools for two years and his assistant principal is suspended for a year after the two were involved in a cheating scandal.

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission, which oversees the certification of teachers, voted Thursday to suspend the licenses of former Atherton Elementary principal James Berry and former assistant principal Doretha Alexander.

The commission also voted to investigate at least seven educators in three other elementary schools for their part in what state officials say was a ploy to change students' answers on fifth-grade math tests in summer 2008 to improve their scores and avoid federal sanctions.

"A two-year suspension of your ability to practice your chosen profession is a severe action," said Kelly Henson, executive secretary of the commission.

The suspensions stem from a Governor's Office of Student Achievement audit released in June that revealed the alleged cheating. State officials do not believe students were involved.

After the audit came out, Mr. Berry and Ms. Alexander were arrested by DeKalb County authorities on charges of tampering with state documents, a felony. The DeKalb County district attorney's office continues to investigate the case but has not yet taken it before a grand jury for indictments.

Mr. Berry and Ms. Alexander have been free on bond since their June arrests.

Mr. Berry's attorney, Janice Mathis, said Mr. Berry is pleased that his license was suspended rather than revoked, which would have prevented him from ever teaching in Georgia again. Ms. Alexander's attorney did not return calls for comment.

The suspensions mean neither can work in a Georgia public school system, even as a substitute teacher. Once the suspension has ended, the two can reapply for teaching licenses. They have 30 days to appeal the decision. Ms. Mathis said she has not yet decided whether to appeal.

Others being investigated were at Deerwood Academy in Atlanta, Burroughs-Molette Elementary in Glynn County and Parklane Elementary in Fulton County.

The altered test answer sheets meant the schools made "adequate yearly progress" on federal No Child Left Behind standards. The state Board of Education voted in July to void the tests in question and revoke the schools' federal standing.

Now, the schools may have to return some federal money and at least one will have to offer tutoring and allow parents to transfer students to higher-performing schools.

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justus4
120
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justus4 09/11/09 - 05:00 am
0
0
How can these people face
Unpublished

How can these people face their peers after such dishonest behavior? How can they return to a classroom? The school district that re-hires these two are setting a poor standard for the children. They need to find another profession because they have demonstrated their level of intregrity is extremely low.

giwi
118
Points
giwi 09/11/09 - 06:26 am
0
0
The Georgia Professional

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission did not have any B???? in this case. They should have revoked their teaching license indefinitely! This was serious! When teachers give the test, we are given the right act and that we could lose our license if we let a question/answer link out, leave the tests unattended, etc. I hate given it!

bettyboop
8
Points
bettyboop 09/11/09 - 06:27 am
0
0
Class act these

Class act these folks........................

corgimom
43490
Points
corgimom 09/11/09 - 06:44 am
0
0
The standardized tests are

The standardized tests are the worst thing ever to happen to American education. They prove nothing. If I still had a child in public school, I would refuse to allow him to take the tests.

LCC0256
1709
Points
LCC0256 09/11/09 - 11:51 pm
0
0
Is anyone ...ANYONE surprised

Is anyone ...ANYONE surprised by this story?

Warnin
19
Points
Warnin 09/12/09 - 06:53 am
0
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This is an example of
Unpublished

This is an example of "Professional Educators" trying to make themselves look good. However, we have to face the fact that we have a lot of kids in our education system who don't belong there.
AND we seem to insist on pushing these kids into a college prep path. We have no business tr5ying to educate the "public". No other country attempts this and after a long history in the USA, it is a failure. It fails to educate our students, it fails by not teaching truth, it fails by being a political machine, it fails because it waste more money than any other "government bureaucracy" in our state.

crackerjack
153
Points
crackerjack 12/07/09 - 09:37 am
0
0
Between this, and the

Between this, and the Scientists promoting Global Warming hiding the facts showing global cooling from their reports, makes one wonder what happened to integrity in this world.

CarlA
114
Points
CarlA 12/07/09 - 11:10 am
0
0
For once, I agree with Justus

For once, I agree with Justus

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