Dougherty CRCT Cheating Probe continues - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty CRCT Cheating Probe continues

Dougherty CRCT Cheating Probe continues

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The probe into possible test cheating in Dougherty County is not over. 

State investigators asked the Governor to allow them to complete their investigation and Governor Nathan deal granted that request Thursday.

The state investigation into Dougherty County School's 2009 C-R-C-T exams is back on.

About 6:00pm an hour ago... he sent us a release saying that state investigators want to complete the probe because they have serious concerns about what they found here so far.

WALB News Ten's Jim Wallace is live in the newsroom with more.

We have been talking with Dougherty County School officials about this complete reversal of decision by the Governor. Yesterday his office issued a statement saying the investigation was over......but today he says after speaking with the investigators he does not believe it should be terminated.

Former Attorney General Mike Bowers, who is leading the probe, said that given his preliminary results, it is his recommendation that we complete the investigation in Dougherty County.

Governor Deal said that the investigators review of their preliminary results has raised grave concerns. We owe it to the children of Dougherty County to get answers.

He also said that the state cannot single out Atlanta in the investigation, if strong evidence suggests similar patterns elsewhere.

I talked with School Board Chairman James Bush and he said he was stunned by the news. School Attorney Tommy Coleman said "we are prepared. That this decision does not change anything in the way we are prepared. He said the school system will give the state investigators whatever assistance they need, and be open as possible, and do anything needed to get this behind us."

Governor Deal says he instructed his investigators to present him with a complete report of their investigation as quickly as possible.

Below is the Press Release from the Governor's Press Office.

State will complete CRCT probe in Dougherty

Go. Nathan Deal today granted the request of state investigators to complete their investigation into the 2009 administration of the CRCT exams in Dougherty County.

"After reviewing the preliminary results of the investigation in Dougherty County on Wednesday and today, contrary to my initial impression, I do not believe the investigation should be terminated," said former Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers in a message sent to the Governor's Office.

"Given those preliminary results, it is my recommendation that we complete the investigation in Dougherty. We will do this expeditiously with as little intrusion into the school system as is possible."

Deal on Tuesday released the investigators' findings of how the Atlanta Public Schools administered the 2009 exams.

The report found systemic cheating. The investigation into the exam administration in Atlanta and Dougherty County began at the behest of then-Gov. Sonny Perdue in 2010.

"After completing the Atlanta Public Schools report, we had hoped that we were at a stopping point," said Deal. "Unfortunately, I have received word today that the investigators' review of their preliminary results in Dougherty County has raised grave concerns.

We owe it to the children of Dougherty County to get answers, and our commitment to equal protection under the law requires us to treat all jurisdictions equally. In other words, the state simply cannot single out Atlanta if strong evidence suggests similar patterns elsewhere. 

"I have instructed the investigators to present me with a complete report of their investigation into the Dougherty County School System as quickly as possible."