APS pledges action on any new cheating trial misconduct revelations

Atlanta school district officials said Tuesday the district will take action on any new information about misconduct revealed during the Atlanta Public Schools test-cheating trial.

“If any misconduct is brought forth, there will be due process for those individuals and action will be taken decisively,” APS chief legal counsel Glenn Brock said in a written statement.

Twelve former school district employees are on trial in the test-cheating case. Jury selection is underway.

As many as 100 school district employees and 72 students are expected to be called to testify, according to the district. Students who need to leave during the school day to attend trial proceedings will receive an excused absence and will be expected to work with their teachers to make up any missed work.

Separate from the criminal trial, nine educators either under investigation by the state educator ethics commission in connection with test-cheating or with ethics cases under appeal are currently employed by APS, according to the district, including three teachers. The district reinstated them after internal investigations or personnel hearings.

In response to questions about the decision to employ those nine educators, the district issued a statement that said it would take “appropriate action” if the commission “takes action against an employee, such as a suspension or decertification.”

In a press release Tuesday, the district cited a new “student‐focused” school board and superintendent hired this spring, Meria Carstarphen.

“We will not only follow all ethical guidelines in everything we do, but we will also act with integrity and always strive to do the right thing,” Carstarphen said in a written statement. “We will be transparent and open with parents, teachers, students, other employees and the public.”