Governor calls for investigation into Dougherty Schools -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Governor calls for investigation into Dougherty Schools

By DORIE TURNER Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA (AP) - Gov. Sonny Perdue is launching a special investigation into cheating allegations in two Georgia school districts.

Perdue announced Wednesday that he is unhappy with what he called "woefully inadequate" internal probes by the Atlanta and Dougherty County school systems. The investigations followed a statewide review of all standardized tests taken by first- through eighth-graders in spring 2009 showing unusual numbers of erasures on tests.

Perdue says he hopes to complete his investigation this fall. He says he plans to name a special investigator in coming days who will have subpoena power if educators in the districts refuse to cooperate.

He says criminal charges could be possible after the investigation is complete.

Atlanta schools spokesman Keith Bromery declined comment until later in the day. Dougherty County schools spokesman R. D. Harter said the district "welcomes" the state investigation.

State Board of Education Chair Wanda Barrs and State School Superintendent Brad Bryant issued the following statement today regarding Governor Sonny Perdue's request to the State Board concerning CRCT investigations.

"The State Board of Education and the Department of Education have demonstrated a commitment to these investigations since the first actions were taken in June 2009 and will continue this work. We fully accept the Governor's charge to take every means possible to ensure that any actions by adults do not negatively impact the education of Georgia's students."

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-08-18-10 1414EDT

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