Atlanta schools spend $9 million to help students affected by cheating

Atlanta schools spent $5 million this year helping students affected by cheating on state tests and plan to spend another $4 million next year.

That work will continue for years to come, Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Meria Carstarphen said at an Atlanta Press Club event Wednesday.

“We’ll see them to and through college,” she said.

The cheating was part of a districtwide scandal in which nearly 200 APS employees were implicated. Eleven former educators were ultimately convicted on criminal charges related to cheating.

About 7,000 students likely had their answer sheets manipulated on 2009 state tests, according to a Georgia State University study completed for APS.

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As of last year, about 3,700 were still enrolled in Atlanta schools. It’s unclear whether the rest graduated, dropped out or moved away.

On average, the victims of cheating were behind their peers up to half a year in reading and writing, according to the Georgia State report.

Last year, APS hired Communities in Schools of Atlanta to help affected students get back on track.

Communities in Schools has placed staff in middle and high schools throughout Atlanta to work with students, Communities in Schools Executive Director Frank Brown said.

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