Investigators plan for Dougherty CRCT probe - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Investigators plan for Dougherty CRCT probe

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Those special investigators appointed to investigate possible C-R-C-T cheating in Dougherty County schools speak out about why they pushed the governor to let them finish that job.

Former Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers and former DeKalb County District Attorney Bob Wilson say they'll likely continue the probe shortly after school starts on August 1st. They hope to have a final report to the Governor in the fall. Dougherty County school officials say the sooner the better. 

Bowers and Wilson spoke to the Rotary Club of Atlanta Monday. They said now that the Atlanta Public School investigation is over, they are ready to focus on Dougherty County Schools.

Mike Bowers and Bob Wilson this week are planning their investigation of the Dougherty County schools, after recommending to the Governor last week that they finish their probe into cheating allegations on the CRCT.

 Wilson said "We've already done some preliminary work down there, which we did some months ago. The Governor upon reviewing some of the statistics and information we had from those interviews felt that we needed this process to be completed."

Governor Deal said that some of the Dougherty County investigation's preliminary results "raised grave concerns." It took one year for the Atlanta schools investigation, but Wilson said Dougherty County's will be much shorter.

Wilson said "I hope that we can do our primary work down there within a month or so after we start, but we'll still have other things that have to be done. It will take a while for the report to be prepared, Whatever it is we find. But hopefully sometime in the fall we'll have a report for the Governor."

Dougherty County school officials say they will cooperate and be fully open to Investigators.

 Dougherty County School's Public Information Director R.D. Harter said "We are confident that our people are not doing what has been suggested that has been done elsewhere. And we stand by the investigations that we have had thus far, and we are hoping for a good outcome from the state investigation."

Bowers and Wilson said today they are surprised by the amount of community interest in their investigation.

 Mike Bowers said "For me it's been very surprising." That's in terms of the interest in it." Wilson said "To some extent, surprise yes. But I did expect it to be fairly significant information for the education community across the country. But I think the general response to it has exceeded anything we expected."

Bowers and Wilson told the club today that they were moved to tears by the cheating they uncovered in Atlanta Public schools.

An investigation shows educators at nearly four dozen Atlanta elementary and middle schools cheated on standardized tests by either helping students or changing the answers once exams were handed in.

A state audit found an unusually high number of changes in test answers from wrong to right On Dougherty County's 2009 CRCT's. Eight schools were listed in the severe category. The overall passing rate in those eight schools in the 2010 testing took a nosedive of almost 13-points with monitors overseeing testing.

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