Atlanta cheating scandal: Teacher reinstatements stir criticism on all sides

Citing “insufficient evidence” against them, Atlanta School Superintendent Erroll Davis  recently told 12 teachers implicated in the system’s widespread cheating scandal that they could return to their jobs.

Now lawyers are questioning the thoroughness of last year’s investigation. Teachers say they’ve been unfairly implicated.  And state investigators say this is a sign that the “same old same old” is going on in Atlanta Public Schools.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:

In interviews, (state investigators Mike) Bowers and (Bob) Wilson blamed the school system for not consulting with them or with GBI agents involved in the investigation before deciding to reinstate teachers and questioned the wisdom of bringing back eight teachers who worked in a school where some of the most rampant cheating occurred.

In a statement, APS spokesman Keith Bromery said school attorneys analyzed all recordings and statements provided by the GBI and the special investigators to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, which is considering indictments in the scandal. APS attorneys also went directly to the sources — the witnesses themselves.

“In these cases, the only evidence of teacher misconduct was circumstantial evidence associated with relatively high numbers of wrong-to-right erasures on test answer sheets and resultant increases in scores from previous test results,” Bromery said. “There is no direct evidence establishing that the individual teachers in these cases were involved in any misconduct.”

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