Memo directs Atlanta school employees to cooperate with state cheating investigation

Superintendent Beverly Hall has issued a memo directing all Atlanta Public Schools employees to cooperate with a special state investigation into alleged test cheating "or risk being found insubordinate."

"Any employee who fails or refuses to fully cooperate with the special investigators may be subject to formal disciplinary action, including termination," the memo said.

Gov. Sonny Perdue appointed former state Attorney General Mike Bowers and former DeKalb County District Attorney Bob Wilson two weeks ago to lead the investigation, which is expected to take months to complete. Perdue accused Atlanta and one other public school system, Dougherty County, of incomplete local investigations after state officials found a high number of suspicious erasures on the 2009 Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests.

Atlanta's local investigative report was compiled by a commission appointed by the school board to review 58 city schools flagged by the state. It said widespread cheating appeared to be limited to 12 schools. Some problems were identified at 13 schools. It noted fewer concerns among the other 33 schools. It recommended 109 employees for further investigation.