Q&A on the News

Q: There were 49 educators accused of test cheating in Dougherty County. What happened to those educators?

—Shelly Powell, Lawrenceville

A: Seventeen teachers or administrators resigned, retired or left the Dougherty County School System in the wake of the system’s 2009 Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) cheating scandal, the Albany Herald reported. Thirty-two others were suspended until tribunals could be held. Of those, two were fired, several were suspended and others were allowed to return to work. Eight people were cleared. Valerie Thomas, the principal at Monroe High School in Albany, has requested an appeals hearing with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Thomas, who was principal at Lamar Reese Magnet School at the time, and two other high school principals — Jose Roquemore (Dougherty) and Angela Shumate (Albany) – will be replaced next year, but will remain with the school system. All three were named in a state report that accused teachers and administrators of either outright cheating or failure to supervise.

Q: An article a few days ago said the state Transportation Board had approved funds for renovating Georgia’s welcome centers. Would this possibly include reopening the two rest areas on I-85 between Atlanta and the South Carolina border?

—Bob Bock, Marietta

A: There are no plans to reopen closed welcome centers and rest areas, a spokeswoman told Q&A on the News in an email. The board will spend up to $3 million to renovate eight welcome centers and will look into improving the state’s 16 rest areas. The project will be funded by the Georgia LOGO program, which generates revenue by selling advertising space on signs near highway exits.

Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).

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