Three former DeKalb County school administrators accused of cheating

Apr 17, 2013 by

Three former school administrators were indicted Tuesday by a DeKalb County grand jury on charges they manipulated tests or attendance records to improve measures of school performance.

Just two weeks after a Fulton County grand jury indicted 35 former Atlanta Public Schools educators in an alleged cheating conspiracy, the DeKalb grand jury accused former DeKalb County School District employees Angela Jennings, Agnes Flanagan and Derrick Wooten of manipulating records.

Flanagan, who was principal of Cedar Grove Middle School, allegedly directed teachers to change students’ answers on the 2009 Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests.

Jennings, who was principal at Rock Chapel Elementary, allegedly removed students temporarily from enrollment records so their 2010 CRCT tests wouldn’t count against the school’s average scores.

Wooten, who was an assistant principal at Stoneview Elementary, is accused of ordering teachers to mark truants as having attended school in 2010 and 2011 so the school might meet federal attendance guidelines.

DeKalb District Attorney Robert James said the case resulted from an investigation his office conducted after the school district turned over evidence from its own cheating probe.

The school system probe was prompted by a statewide investigation into erasure marks on the CRCT. The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement began looking into test erasures after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2008 analyzed test score gains and reported unlikely improvements in DeKalb, Atlanta and elsewhere.

Unlike Atlanta school officials, who denied cheating, DeKalb exposed it. James praised the school system for reacting swiftly, but lamented a lack of evidence to prove more cheating that he believes occurred.

“I believe that what happened was perhaps more widespread than these indictments reflect,” James said. He said his office will continue investigating cheating suspicions in DeKalb schools and in the portion of the Atlanta school system that is in DeKalb.

Lawyers for the three defendants couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon. Phone numbers for those indicted were either disconnected or unlisted.

via Three former DeKalb County school administrators accused of… |

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