State commission to investigate DeKalb CRCT cheating

The unanimous vote Thursday by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission came the same day it approved testing guidelines for educators that spell out expectations and sanctions.

According to the guidelines, which were in the works prior to the allegations, erasing or changing student answers merits suspension without pay or loss of license.

State officials in June released a preliminary audit that showed someone at four Georgia elementary schools deliberately changed students' answers last summer on fifth-grade standardized math retests. The changes helped all four schools, including DeKalb's Atherton Elementary, meet federal standards.

Former Atherton Principal James Berry resigned and his former assistant principal, Doretha Alexander, was reassigned.

Of the other schools — Parklane Elementary in Fulton County, Deerwood Academy in Atlanta and Burroughs-Molette Elementary in Glynn County — Glynn officials have asked the agency to consider disciplining four individuals, identified by county officials as two teachers, a clerical worker and a now-retired administrator.

A decision whether to open a formal investigation will likely be made at the commission's next meeting in September. By then, officials expect to also have complaints about individuals in Atlanta and Fulton.

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