School Board Members say they want truth from probe - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

School Board Members say they want truth from probe

The current and former Dougherty County School Board chairmen disagree on a lot of issues. But they're on the same page when it comes to the state investigation into possible cheating on CRCTs. James Bush and David Maschke say they're shocked the Governor reversed course and decided to move forward with the probe.

The Governor changed his mind late Thursday afternoon. He now says the investigation should continue because of grave concerns investigators brought to his attention. School board members today said they just want the facts to come out.

Dougherty County School Board chairman James Bush said he was shocked and amazed when Governor Nathan Deal said the school investigation would continue, despite earlier statements that it would be concluded.

 Bush said "I'm not going to jump on the Governor. I think that it's his call. He is the Governor and has decided to continue the investigation. And we will fully cooperate with him."

Governor Deal said "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."

School Board member David Maschke said he was also surprised by the Governor's decision, but still believes there was no conspiracy to cheat on the CRCT.

Maschke said "Out of the 1400 teachers, I'm sure that there could have been 1 or 2 instances of teachers trying to help their students. But widespread cheating, I have not seen a shred of evidence on that in the Dougherty County school system, and I looked at it long and hard."

Bush and Maschke agreed that Dougherty County school employees will cooperate fully with investigators, even though they worry it could be a problem at the start of the new school year.

Bush said "Anytime you have an ongoing investigation, there will be a distraction."

 Maschke said "It will be a disruption in the schools, pulling teachers out of classes, these sorts of things. And it just gets the year off to a poor start."

But the Governor has said he wants investigators to complete their investigation as quickly as possible, and both school board members say they want the truth and facts to conclude this episode.   And both said if any cheating is proved in the probe, that there should be consequences for the wrongdoing.

Governor's office spokespersons tell us that Investigators will most likely not return to Albany to continue the probe until school starts August 1st.

We tried to contact School Superintendent Dr. Joshua Murfree several times today for comment on the Governor's decision, but he never returned our calls.

Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved.  

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