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State right to probe cheating
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Forsyth County News
Convinced that school systems in Atlanta and Dougherty County have not adequately responded to evidence of widespread cheating involving manipulation of student scores on statewide tests, Gov. Sonny Perdue last week created a special investigative team to do its own investigation.

Good for him.

The governor made it clear that he felt the few potential “slaps on the wrist” that seemed the likely outcome of the internal investigations by those school systems simply was not sufficient given the severity of the cheating charges.

Considering the importance placed on standardized test results for students in all Georgia classrooms, we think he’s right.

Speaking to the state board of education, Perdue noted that the CRCT test result probe in the Atlanta school system found widely irregular test results at 58 schools. Perdue said that while the Atlanta system has identified more than 100 educators who may have been involved, it has referred
“legitimate complaints for only eight educators with allegations of wrongdoing that can be investigated by the [Professional Practices Commission.]”

Clearly the governor thinks the school system has failed to take adequate steps to punish educators who were involved.

In truth, the state does not have in place a good mechanism for conducting a thorough probe, the scope of which is beyond that of the Professional Practices Commission, which is not really an investigative body.

Perdue named two men to lead the investigation who bring a depth of experience to the task, former attorney general Mike Bower and former DeKalb district attorney Bob Wilson.

We’ve said it in this space before. Educators who knowingly alter tests in order to improve student grades cannot be allowed to remain in the state’s public schools.